Friday, September 25, 2009


I came across this new website, the brainchild of a close friend and his buddies. A selfless little place in a selfish world just to pool in money for young kids in need. It is a place where people who want to help can interact with institutions that can take them to the kids in need. More details can be found on the website.
Wishing them good luck and hoping that it really helps!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ms.Idle Whiskers

I am fully aware that anyone who wakes up at 5 AM on a Sunday morning is not considered normal by human beings. However, desperate times call for desperate measures and I had to wake up at that ungodly hour today to finish a few reactions in the lab. I personally find that I start becoming more and more stupid after 4 in the afternoon. So I have to use all my time before that to work. Otherwise I make mistakes that are irreversible or just get me into a mortifying gloom for the rest of the day and I hate repenting.
So I woke up at the break of dawn today. I was pottering around the house trying to make breakfast (there hasn't been even a single time in my life when I have been able to make one whole omelet. Somehow on the frying pan I always work in fractions. In the end I have scrambled eggs), when I heard an almost human knock and scratch on the door. When I opened, I realized that it was Ms.Cat demanding to be let in. I had to obey.
She came in running on her overweight paws and stood right next to her bowl and looked at me with a face that seemed to say, "You are just as slow even first thing in the morning aren't you?".
So I dutifully fed her and began to pack my bags to leave.In the meanwhile she sprawled on the carpet and began observing me with her wise owl-like face.
Cat : Where are you going?
Me : Work. You are going to get out of this house in another three and a half minutes.
Cat : Jeez! It is Sunday. Why do you have to go to work on a Sunday and that too at 6?!!
Me : Well, my religious texts say that you are born a human after many births. I guess it is more like a consolation for having cats like you.
Cat : See, your problem is that you (all humans) really think of yourselves as important. Even cats could write a similar text if they want. Where a kind, forgiving and unselfish cat refuses to kill an army of rats in front of him. Then a wise and cat meows him the essence of cat life. Urges him to stop grieving and do his duty as a cat. We just don't bother!
Me : God! You are not just arrogant and lazy but also blasphemous! I don't want to listen to your philosophy. I have things to do.
Cat : Why do you think that the things you have to do are going to make so much of a difference? I mean how do you matter to the world. I would say you matter a lot to your parents and a few close friends. You matter to me, mostly when the other girl who's much nicer to me than you, is not around. But from a global, like you say holistic point of view, do you really matter that much?
Me : (Damn! She is right!) Yes I do. I matter to myself. What I do makes me happy. That is all I ask!
Cat : This is what all those texts fill you up with. These are all borrowed thoughts. You have been told to find happiness within yourself. You know that in theory but you think that pretending to be practicing it will one day make you get there. So you pretend that waking up at dawn and smelling through one nostril would make you like the one that your Man-god told you he likes.
Me : What?!! What smelling?
Cat : The thing you do every morning where you close one nostril and then the other and keep doing it. I have recommended that to the list of "Humans are stupid" videos that Cat Rock
channel telecasts every Monday morning.
Me : Have I ever asked you these kind of probing questions about your life? Why do you have to make my morning so difficult? You ate your food. Now bugger off!
Cat : Well eventually I will. But before that, since I eat your food and I cannot stoop down to the level of a Dog and lick your feet, wagging my tail, I would like to barter some knowledge with you. Just out of genuine goodwill for once. Tell me how you define life?
Me : Something that you don't have.
Cat : Well, I would like to ignore that sarcastic comment. It mostly springs out of jealousy. To me, life is the time between being born and being dead. Two things you do not have any control over. It is like a waiting room. So in my view one should spend it doing minimum and just waiting. Catching a mouse or two every now and again but returning back to being idle whenever possible. It will pass on its own. Without any turbulence.
Me: Yeah, why not! When you have an idiot like me to demand food from and give these pointless lectures your life will sure have no turbulence at all!
Cat: This anger is not at me. It is actually directed at yourself. You would like to sprawl on this mat like me and doze off until the rats in the walls invite you to sharpen your nails. You mask your jealousy in virtue. Everybody has a loafer inside them. Get it out for once!
Me: Yeah okay. I will do that next Sunday. Now please leave this place.
Cat: Certainly. After you!
Me: No. Get out NOW.

Drags her fat paws out and sprawls on the lawn.

I must admit that the little creature has definitely done some thinking. I wish I could exchange lives with her sometimes. So much for taking oneself seriously!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Setting the world a-twitter

Once again, one of those (boring) IMO (In My Opinion) blogs. Not that my opinion really matters, as I have said over and over again, but whenever I can I like to dispense my opinion just because I have it! Something that my city (Pune) taught me. :)
So the inspiration is this. I was actually really happy that Shashi Tharoor was a part of our fresh cabinet. I even started following him on Twitter but like most, I gave up Tweeting after an initial entusiasm of about three weeks.
In one of its own T-shirt quotes Twitter says that it is ' The messaging system we didn't know we needed until we had it'. At the end of my three weeks of tweeting I came to agree with it, and also ended up dwelling on it.
Why does a politician need to update people around the globe about who he is having dinner with? For that matter why does anyone have to update the whole world about what they are doing every single moment of the day?
They say that they do it for political transperancy but the amount of truly unnecessary information that they send out through tweeting does more harm than the amount of good their transperancy does. No one really needs updates from politicians all the time. At least not about how they feel in their daily meetings and what they think about the austerity drive.
I think healthy tweeting would really help resolve a lot of issues regarding politicians being absent from the common people but India is a little cosmos within herself. Although we are all hooked on to the net all the time, we still use tongue-twisters like austerity-drive to describe cost cuts in cabinet travels. When I first read that word in the Times Of India I could not help but laugh. It took me straight to the English translation of the Bhagwad Geeta, where a austerity is a wise man's lifestyle. :)
I don't think the technological evolution has really affected the Indian values to a great extent. We still respect a certain formality of conduct in leaders. So a Kevin Rudd can possibly get away with tweeting about his steak but a Shashi Tharoor still has to pay heavily for it.
I also think it dilutes rhetoric. Not that it is essential but the beauty of a well-designed and drafted speech is far beyond tweeting every hour from every corner of the world. There has to be a certain gap between thinking and expressing. IMO (again!!) it is one of the most important steps of expressing your thoughts in any form, whether written, verbal or even artistic. That time between thinking over something and then saying it is the most crucial time in the process of expression and I think Twitter (or Facebook for some) really robs you of that time. That is why speeches by the likes of Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi are still compiled and sold in the printed form.
I am not technophobic but I am weary of all these information blasters that the world is coming up with!
I love the concept of an e-book although I personally prefer a nice paperback in my purse, but audio-books just depress me to the core. They rob you of the pleasure of reading words and converting them into pictures in your brain right there. If you come to think of it, it is a very complicated process and that is why book lovers would never part with that privilege.
These days every one spends a lot of time and money on getting entertained. Even then there are a lot of people who get bored very easily. The real reason behind this is that we spend lesser time processing information in our own (private and hard-copy) heads and more time assimilating and dispensing it. :)
Just like my opinions I guess. So the (pointless) conclusion of this post is that you are more than likely to ruffle some Indian peacock feathers if you plan to set the world a-twitter. No matter how suave, tech-savvy and bright you are. In India you do what Indians do. :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Too Good To Be True

I am listing out all the Too-Good-To-Be-Trues (TGTBT) so that people can faithfully walk along their (self) prescribed paths without wanting to strangle their destinies.

1. Being able to go to the gym five days a week and have complete control over your calorie intake at the same time. There hasn't been a single week in my life with that kind of statistics and I am pretty sure there will never be, unless ofcourse I am stranded on an island with orchards with only a gym on it for a week.

2. Having a day where you don't forget to do something. I have stopped worrying about this. There have been days when I have packed my bag the night before, put my clothes out for the next day on the couch, my lunch all packed in the fridge, my papers in the bag only to realize after stepping out on the bus-stop that I have forgotten my cellphone in my bed. Actually, today is one of those days. On such days instead of cursing myself, I feel happy that my all-pervading-all-encompassing supervisor would not be able to call me to ask, "Where are you??!! Haven't seen you today!!" when I am sitting and reading in the room next to his!

3. Not having a single coffee in a day. This is now beyond even my conscious control. I mechanically make myself coffee every morning without even realizing that I am doing it!

4. Not a single person in your life complains to you about something or someone else. I have tried to stop people from doing it in the past, quite unsuccessfully and I consciously stop myself from complaining about things but having a day where no one you talk to complains to you about something is just too good to be true.

5.Walking into your supervisor's office the morning after you have sent him your first-final draft and hearing the words, "Fantastic. Send it right away!". Anyone doing a PhD will know how many "final" drafts you have to write before anything even gets remotely close to the word final!

Feels nice to know that at least there is a list of things that is certain, if not the most pleasant!! :)