The e=mc2 story

So everybody knows how Einstein waited for 10 years to prove his energy mass theory. I am not going to go in and tell everyone how they should stick to their guts for as long as they are not proven wrong face first. I will also not talk about education, its importance non importance, or the importance of a curious mind. I am going to talk about the fact that  the whole theory  was a hunch. He waited ten years on a hunch because the numbers were matching. It could as easily be wrong. He guessed! HE GUESSED! It was a good guess,no doubt but a guess nevertheless. I wonder if he lay at nights, sleepless having nightmares about it all being wrong and the world laughing in his face. I wonder if he would’ve shot himself if he had to face that embarrassment. I would’ve. What I don’t understand is the faith, the absolute faith which just let him hold on. One could call it arrogance too, he was too proud to think he was wrong. Either ways, he was right and he got a place in history and eventually in our science books.

The stakes of the experiment were too high, one would say, Or, were they? Let’s step back, relax and think about this. Had Einstein failed, the world would still have an unanswered question, which means the purpose of Einstein’s life was still unfulfilled(or so to speak). He would have gone back and tried idea #2. I mean think about it, nobody spends ten years in hope of a successful experiment without a plan B, or C even D. In fact, I think he had this unbelievable , infallible faith in his theory because he took ten years to disprove his own work, coming up with reasons why something didn’t fit. Why Plan B was not as good as e=mc2. He was just waiting to see if it fails, what parameter did he leave behind. I feel Einstein could  probably have been a little disappointed when the experiment didn’t fail and he had nothing to figure.

You must be wondering why I am bringing this up, where is the epiphanic thought intended for this post. Well, I have been going through an existential crisis. Everything is good, in fact according to some, I have nothing more I can ask for. However, I feel unfulfilled. I feel I am not using myself for the potential I am meant. Where is my e=mc2. If I ever make a guess will I have the power to stand by it without feeling pressurized to change my opinion because well its just a guess. When I heard Einstein’s story. Twas not about how he was dedicated, it was about how he could take a guess with the same conviction as though he had proven it already. It doesn’t show me genius but courage to be able to guess and then accept the fact that it can be wrong…but what if, it’s not. This ‘what if’ has changed lives! so take a chance, make a guess! Find your e=mc2, and be the next well…you!

The problem is we take a chance and we want it to work almost immediately and when it does not, we start losing faith. We start imagining our doom and take the next chance before we give it a chance to materialize. Confused? I am too. Einstein waited ten years for a chance, a guess to work out. Let’s take my example. I made a decision almost a year and a half ago; to leave the comfortable life I led in a multi national as a mediocre employee and register myself as a student for my masters. Now, just after a year, I feel I am not doing anything much different than what I was back home. In fact, I think I have gone back two years now. I felt mad at myself, angry at the decision of wasted time and more importantly money. Then I came across this story, and I thought wow, what if Einstein took another chance and told everyone not to waste time on it. It was probably wrong. He would be so mad at himself later, when it was proved right. It’s simple. Explore every opportunity, and keep your eyes open for more. Nothing is a mistake. Everything teaches you something, so its vital we do that. I am going to tell you exactly what I decided for myself. Give it time to work out, disprove your theories and remind yourself why did you make that guess in the first place.

Everything you do is an important chapter in the story of life… Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or be curious! If you do…don’t be afraid to try to answer it and then stand by your answer until proven otherwise. The world owes you that!

A Final Goodbye

She asked him if he needed something for the journey. He shook his head in a no. It was hard to believe that it was already time to leave. How had the 48 hours passed by. It was a difficult moment, a very intense one indeed. 

Only two days ago, his life was a blissful garland of beautiful looking orchids and now, it was all dust. It started with his phone beeping at 2 in the morning. it was a text from her, saying it was over. He couldn’t understand what was happening. He called her, no response. Left a ton of messages, no response. What had gone through in a day. She was doing fine, as far as he knew. But He knew very less, He hadn’t called her in days, mostly because of work, or maybe more. He knew this day would eventually come, but, was not quite so prepared for the gutting it got along with it. He decided to drive to her place. 3 hours from where he lived. 160 Kilometers. He drove all night. 

He was not puzzled, not much anyway. He knew why was she doing this. He knew he hadn’t been fair. What is fair though, at the end of the day. He knew he couldn’t stop her now, because he hadn’t done anything to build his case. In a way, he was happy, she took that decision. He was happy she had decided what she had. He was happy she wouldn’t be miserable anymore. She wouldn’t yearn for him day after day and then sleep disappointed. If you look at it now, it was not so much of a garland. It was a wreath he was wearing. What did he do other than work, or watch football, and tweet about it. He was doing fine for himself though, fairly handsome. But That’s all he was doing…doing fine, and not living fine. And, now, the one woman who had so graciously accepted him in her world, welcomed him to stay and love, was driven away. And who was to blame… But, if knew everything, why was he driving 160 kilometers in the oddest hour of the night. 

He reached there at 6 in the morning, rung the doorbell after a considerable consideration. He had to ring it thrice, before he heard movement inside. The moment he heard her footsteps, all the desperation had gone and it was replaced now by an unspoken fear, an undefined doubt. He wanted to run and hide. Too late, she opened the door. 

There she was, all glorious even in the middle of the night, just out of bed. Wearing a T-Shirt and a Pyjama. Her confused intelligent eyes, the flawless shining skin. The curves hid by the loose T shirt, yet failing miserably. It was still there. Her charm, her beauty, That kindness in her voice, the gentle air she breathed.  It was all there.

She asked him to come in. She was bewildered at his presence, a thousand questions in a minute were bombarded on him. He didn’t even make an attempt to answer any. She was quiet now, he gently frisked her in his arms and kissed her. She let him. 

Moments later they made love…they were wild and passionate and anybody who would have even a peek at them, would say for sure, just how much the two of them were in love with each other. He claimed her, didn’t allow any thought to creep in her head. Moment after moment, he devoured her, like a dying man holding on to the last bits of oxygen. She was surprised at the intensity, much as she tried, she couldn’t help feeling all those feelings again. But she pleaded with herself to not go soft this time. Alas, who was listening. 

Two days, he stayed over at her place, they made love, she cooked, they made love again, they showered together, made love again. Eventually, the moment came when he had to go back to work. 

He woke up that morning feeling heavy in the pit. He knew what she was about to say. He didn’t want to hear it. He didn’t want any of it. He just wanted the last two days to play in his head over and over again. She was sleeping beside him. Silently breathing the air he breathed. He looked at her, How he could get used to this. How wonderful would it be to wake up next to this woman he so dearly loved. 

She fluttered her eyes open. 

“Hey”, She whispered.

“Hey”, He replied. “I have to go to work”

“Hmm, okay”, She closed her eyes.

He got up from the bed, and went to the bathroom. When he came back, she was sitting cross legged on the bed. They both looked at each other. Gazes locked. 

She got up from the bed and wrapped her arms around his, and kissed him gently on his lips. He dreaded this moment.

“Do you want me to stay, I will..you just have to say the words”, She whispered in his ears.

He kissed her back, intently, deeply. and whispered back,”No”.

He pulled from the driveway, and began driving towards his house. Leaving behind in his rear-view mirror a grief stricken, broken image of a woman, who, any minute now, would burst into tears. 

Knock Knock…who is it?!

Aside

Maya was confused. She didn’t know whether to pack more of winter clothes or more of beach wear. it would’ve been better to pick a Europe trip instead, she was wondering. At least then she would’ve been sure of the weather. Thailand and Malaysia, she knew it was a lot of beaches, but if or not she needed warm clothing, She wasn’t sure.

Thinking of this trip and how it had materialized, Maya still couldn’t believe it. Only a couple months back, when her parents had decided that she had come of age to get married, Maya urged her parents to allow her one trip abroad before she got married. Having been an obedient daughter, all her life, She thought She at least deserved that much. And She was right. Her parents allowed her a trip to Malaysia and Thailand, a cheap package for 15 days, which normally, all well-to-do middle class families could afford.

Maya set off. Her parents bid her goodbye with plenty doses of good-to-use advice and home made achaar(Indian pickle). Least did they know, what Maya had in mind. But they were simple minded people and didn’t mind their daughter doing what she wanted for a bit, as long as, she didn’t invite trouble. She never disappointed them, nor, she would.

Four hours of flying to Bangkok, Maya was far from tired, on the contrary, she looked quite fresh. Her room was close to the airport and comfortably furnished. She dumped her luggage in the room, took a quick shower and left to see the place.

Maya had never been on a trip alone even in India, let alone outside. This was a new, rather, a very brave venture for her. She was excited, adrenaline was flowing in copious amounts in her body. She walked through the streets with curious eyes and an apprehensive smile. She went through the flea markets, saw some really disturbing stuff, evaded the parasitic tourist guides who wanted her to see another world. She dodged all the Quirky one liners about her dress and all the alluring escapades offered.

Aimlessly walking through the backyard of Bangkok, she finally found a place where she wanted to sit down and have something to eat. She ordered something she couldn’t pronounce and eventually, the dish came, she realized it was soup, only fancier. In the middle of her eating the soup, her adrenaline levels came back down, the endorphin glands snoozed off and She realized how lonely and homesick she felt already. But She didn’t want to succumb to the pressure and denied herself the liberty to be engulfed in the misery. She looked around, gazing at the beautiful people around her, looking so happy, so content with life. She had to suck in this spirit in the thin air and throw out all her fears.

the soup didn’t taste so bad now, and She also managed to find herself a decent dessert. By the time, She was done, Maya realized, it was dark. She got up unsteadily and walked up to the attendant.

“Where can I find a good place to have a drink?”, She asked, not believing the words coming out of her mouth. She had never even looked in the direction of drinks before. She didn’t quite understand the source of this new impish courage she had imbibed. But, She didn’t question herself a lot fearing the loss of it, if she thought about it much.

So, instead, She walked in the pointed direction. She walked in trans, unsure and insecure about her decisions, but still at the same time, excited to the core. This could be the end of life as she knew it, or not. How did She have the cojones to take this gamble? She didn’t want to know anyway.

It all started a month back, when her best friend Natalia got married and went to Thailand for her honeymoon, she came back with pamphlets and brochures of hotels, massage parlors, happy ending massage parlors…and suddenly Maya wanted to know. She still couldn’t believe she had pulled it off.

She reached the nearest pub, took a quiet corner and sat there for a half hour before ordering a chardonnay. She then took out her phone and called the number.

The rest of the evening went in a purple haze. It was an aroma she had never taken in before, a sight she had never witnessed, a feeling that was beyond her comprehension and a power she had never tasted before.

When She got up next morning,She had a slight headache, chardonnay, she thought and made a mental note of not having it again,at least, not so much. She looked around to find her clothes, most of them were under the guy who was fast asleep next to her. She decided not to bother him. Walking with slight uneasiness and a lot of weariness, she made her way to the bathroom. Turned on the shower and let the water pamper her burning skin. She tried to feel remorse over last night. She didn’t feel it. She tried to feel shame, hatred, disgust but none of the aforementioned emotions surfaced. Was it because She had convinced herself for weeks of this behavior or she was always devious and she had just accepted it. Whatever be the reason, we shall never know. What we know is that she emerged out of the bathroom with a wicked smile and a starved stomach.

Edward, she remembered was his name, was already up and getting dressed.

“Order some breakfast, shall we?”, She asked. “yes, m hungry, eggs?”, Edward replied.

“sure, yea, go ahead, order whatever you want”, She replied and turned over the crispy newspaper to read the headlines.

“What do you want to do for the rest of the day? or rather 15 days, because you have hired me for it…”,  Edward asked between mouthfuls of cream eggs.

“I want you to show me this city and give me 15 most memorable days of my life.”,Maya replied.

“wow, are you like dying or something?”, Edward was curious.

“Maybe, I am. who knows?!”, Maya said and broke into a roar of laughter.

15 days, Thailand (she never made it Malaysia), sunsets and sunrises, no reasons, no concerns, no right, no wrong, no cause, no effect.

Maya returned to the Indira Gandhi International airport, exactly how she had gone! Nothing changed in her, except everything did. She spoke the same way, soft and submissive. She dressed the same, much to the delight of her parents. She didn’t question anything, they fixed a date for her wedding and she blushed and shied like a normal Indian bride would. She got married eventually, and when her husband suggested ‘Bangkok’, She denied politely.

No Place Home

I see people moving like borgs,

looking for something, with a keen note…

like lost of sorts,

to this search their souls, they devote…

I wonder what they are looking for,

I wonder why don’t they find it,

even with a blissful spore…

 

 

Plenty I read about going home,

Plenty I read about missing the sand,

the dusk, the dawn, the sheep, the fawn…

the shining sun, the rain, the fun.

 

I wonder when they say they miss it,

what do they fathom…

For I don’t miss going home,

I miss having one…

I can’t remember no longer,

what it looked like,

I can’t remember the brook, the moon,

the sun, the breeze, the tirade, the swoon…

 

Plenty I read about going home,

Plenty I read about missing the sand,

the dusk, the dawn, the sheep, the fawn…

the shining sun, the rain, the fun.

 

Will you judge me, if I said I didn’t care,

I don’t want to remember it,

I don’t want to spare,

a single thought of what it was like,

When I was home…

I am looking and I wan’t to look,

and find my nest of the blossoming bloom

Proud or not, I can definitely say,

There is no place home…

 

Chamundi Express

So, I am sitting at the Bangalore railway station and this woman comes and sits next to me. I had had a very long rather disappointing weekend in Bangalore, which was visible from my face, and i just wanted to get out of the city. Waiting for my train, the Chamundi Express, I decided it would be nice to have a cup of tea. Now, before we go further, let me tell you how much I love tea. Tea is like everything that is good about this world, gently brewed, just the correct amount of sugar and milk, and they give you little portions of heaven for a meager 5 bucks. 

Back to the woman. When She came and sat next to me,  I gave her very little attention. After all, she was only one of the thousand faces i would see in the city. The desperation to leave Bangalore was so high, that all I could think about was  to board the train and leave. Visibly upset by what had gone through a few hours ago, I was putting all my energy in not breaking into pieces and crying like a baby. 

Then suddenly out of nowhere, I hear a voice, breaking my spree of thoughts. A voice so calm, I thought I imagined it at first. But then, She repeated her question to me. I couldn’t understand what she was saying as she was talking in kannada. I said, “Kannada illai”, which means No Kannada. She just nodded and smiled. The expression on her face was not that of disgust at my inability with the language as most kannadigas expect. It wasn’t neither resignation nor indifference, just mere acceptance. I probably wouldn’t have given her expression so much thought had I not been so vulnerable myself, that the little act of mercy affected me in ways I couldn’t imagine. 

I smiled back. She looked at me, and in what I remember to be not more than a whisper, she said, “Idu uttamavāgiruttave”. I still didn’t understand, but I didn’t question it. Just said, Thank you and smiled back. 

The train was late. So, I took another cup of  tea and asked her in the universal sign language if she wanted it too. She declined and clutched her little bag, which, I now noticed, was all she had. She was quiet, so serene. Her face was glowing with all the energy she was not wasting talking. 

I sat back down next to her, and started playing with my smart phone. She was amused by it first. She kept looking into it. Then, gradually, she lost interest. I switched to another game, because I wanted her to be interested again. But, She had lost it all. She was just looking around,at random people, like measuring them up, observing them. She looked so superior to them all in her humble attire and just one worn out tiffin bag. 

Finally, our train arrived and we got in. As I had a local ticket, I made my way to the general bogie. I found myself a nice empty corner and made myself comfortable. The train started moving and now, not being distracted by the lady, I was sucked in the sadness of how my weekend was ruined again. So much so, that I didn’t even realize when a small rebellious tear rolled down my cheek. I quickly composed myself, as I didn’t want to make a scene. A few minutes later, when the train stopped next, a few men sat down in the same compartment as me. Their presence intimidated me but nevertheless, they had every right to sit there. Then one of them talked to me, asked me, where was I supposed to get down. I said Mysore.  They were loud, in a language I didn’t understand, throwing wrappers out of the window which mostly would fall on me. 

The minute I decided to get up and leave, I saw the same lady coming in the compartment and sitting next to me. She didn’t say a word. Just sat down next to me, with a calm yet firm expression. While it comforted me, her presence most certainly unnerved the guys. Rest of journey, there was no more hullabaloo around my seat. The men sat quietly, like in the presence of a head master, and I was the favorite student of the headmaster, because She was clearly there to protect me. 

What stunned me the most was that she didn’t utter a word in the entire journey and yet, I could understand why the guys were uncomfortable in her presence and why I felt comfortable.

At the end, all I could contemplate was how words had hurt me so bad that I was almost in tears at the station, and how silence had comforted me beyond compare, coming from someone I barely knew.

How Should I…

Watching her leave, I realized, I had never,

been successful with her.

I did everything, I possibly could,

flowers, chocolates, all the attention I should

shower on the girl who loved me so dearly.

But I could never mask it, the hint in my eyes,

all the thoughts, mysteries, Questions, Answers, lies…

She knew it, all along, I am sure,

It probably didn’t work, all the lure.

She asked me if out of ten, one thought was mine,

I answered, all thoughts ought to be yours, ah, forgiveness divine.

Each day, every day, she longed for me and hurt herself,

and I like the messenger of doom, satan’s elf…

gave her the sad news of the demise of our love.

love, which was never less, always in abundance,

love regardless of the past or a careless providence,

love shining the most when the darkest,

love screaming out the most when the quietest.

But, alas, I failed in covering up my pain,

giving her hopes in vain…

for my heart lay elsewhere, echoing with another name,

longing for another smile, another glitter in the eye.

How should I bear the loss in her eyes, when…

she sees the loss in mine, searching hope in men.

Searching for a way to comfort me, as though…

I have been the one pained and not she… 

I.Hate.Love.STORY.

Turnstiles

November ’13. Small town of South India. Lazy Friday. Lazy me. Manager on leave. team lead on leave. Tremendous work. Lazy me. muhuhahaahaha. phone rings. Invite for an early party. Me so happy. 😀

Dark room. dim lights. Me blind. pitchers of beer. Friends greet me. Me settled.  

Loud music. Dancing. A little singing maybe. Utterly beautiful girl standing right across. My heart beating out of control. Gathered all courage.

“Hello, my name is Mayukh”

“Hi, Simran”.

. “How do you know (holy mother of god, who invited me again?!!!!)…”

Soft laughter.Heart flies. “So how do you know him again”

“I am his(airquotes) cousin…” 

Brilliant!!!

Rest of the night fades away magically. weekend fades away magically. Monday comes black magically. 

Work.Work.Work

Rajiv(my partner in crime…) walks in.

“Dude what did you say to my cousin, she is all gaga over you”

“Who??”

“Simran, you met her at the party…”

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NO words!

I am generally a pretty positive person and an advocate for the progress of my country. but, today I have no words to those who think that this country is a dump. All I can do is shut up and hang my head low! There are no words to describe the agony, the anger and the disappointment that most Indians are feeling today.
The worse part is that a handful of mentalities have plagued our heads so bad that we can’t even see straight.
We ask our teachers to cover up if students are clicking pictures instead of  thrashing them for such horrible thinking at such an early age. the problem is we always relate shame with the victim in such cases and that is why the ones who do not think raping another woman or objectifying her is morally wrong, don’t think much about it because they would be welcomed back as heroes.
When this is being taught in schools, what else can we expect. We ask the girls to behave like Bhartiya Nari, so exactly what is this Indian Woman, we are so fond of !? Gullible, should consent to rape every time anyone wants, cuz lets face it women are public properties! that’s their role in this society! Everything else is only something men allow us now and then! This is the country where women are not worth more than a few cows! We have the cojones to criticize the Arabs for the way they treat their women? I feel they respect them in comparison to what we are doing! We are raping women and bullying women for getting raped and sending them to Ashrams and secluded places where no one knows them so they can crawl to death!? AND WE ARE NOT EVEN HONEST ABOUT IT!
If that is where it is going, then I truly wish that the world FUCKING ends in 2012!

Spiderman exists ONLY in Manhattan

Aside

Of course, he does and batman lives in Gotham city. Well, I didn’t say live, I said exists. What’s the difference? Well, loads. What I mean, when I say Spiderman exists only in Manhattan, is that a superhero exists only where there is problem to be solved. Now, you would be wondering why am I reiterating a very obvious fact. The reason is the order of cause and effect; we have it the other way round. It is not that Spiderman exists because there are problems, but because there are problems, Spiderman exists.

Whenever, we see a quagmire of issues, we need a superhero to pull us out of it. Given the current state of mind our country is in, I felt an incessant need to bring it up. There have been contradictory theories on how a leader is created. One pool of believers say that leaders are born, not created. You cannot imbibe leadership in anyone. Others say that it’s the need which forces certain group of people to react and lead.

India, especially has seen the latter kind of leaders more. Mahatma Gandhi, Dirubhai Ambani and these days Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. So, what makes the transition from a common man to an extraordinaire? Is it again an inborn quality or some special lesson they give out to a select few in school?

What I have observed is that countries in their deepest trouble have seen some real stars rising, like Martin Luther King, or Roosevelt. So, is it the troubles that create leaders, a superhero? because we don’t see them around in calmer times. What I mean is, one of the sufferers becomes the one to redeem us from it whenever the need arises. The same person who suffers with us till a particular threshold arrives and he transforms into Spiderman, saving us from all evil. So, is it all make-believe? Maybe, yes. Maybe, there is a leader in all of us, only the threshold varies…the amount of radioactive waste and when is it triggered.

Inspire…

so, i got up this morning and my mom asked me if I could accompany her somewhere. I didn’t have much to do,so as an obedient (bored more) daughter I agreed. What i had thought would be an afternoon of obligations and some amazing trash turned out to be one of the most well spent afternoons of my life. It was the national level science project exhibition exhibition for the Inspire award scheme by the Govt. of India. Hall no. 12 A and 11, pragati maidan were the ones i could visit but my oh my, it had about a thousand projects. the whole thing was divided into zones, north, north-east, east, middle and south. There were projects from places i hadn’t even heard of. way interior, small villages where innovative students had turned their disadvantages into smart solutions using the sheer power of imagination and logic.

Common entries like hydraulic cranes, volcanoes, waste water plants, bio gas plants and windmills were there, but what caught my eye was when a girl showed me she produced adhesive from cow dung! no kidding! the best part, the liquid she had made had brilliant adhesive strength and absolutely no smell or look of excreta. On one of the stalls, this kid asked me have you ever seen sound? I said no, have you? he told me yes, I will show you sound and he switched on his speaker phone which was connected to a tubelight containing semolina(sooji). Within seconds, the material started dancing with the waves, it was fantastic, i asked him to do it over and over. there were a few guys who produced electricity using a cycle wheel, a dynamo and a battery to be charged. this battery could then be used to light bulbs or charge phones. the funny thing was when i asked this guy what is the use of such projects when we have huge plants generating electricity and this kind of electricity could probably not sustain a whole village, he gave me a sly smile and told me,’didi, in my village, they charge you 10 bucks to charge your mobile phone because only the tehsildaar gets electricity at his home, when i go back, i will charge people 5 bucks to charge their phones, it will be my business‘.

the shine in each one’s eyes, the confidence to change the world in their own little ways was exhilarating. Having so many grass root level inventions around, i got in touch with the kid in me who was always a fan of magic!

this exhibition is on till 23rd of Oct, if anybody is interested and i believe if you like science, you should go…moreover, its free!