December 29, 2011

Of trailing stars and thoughts…

     Of late, I have developed a habit of taking the liberty to create my own words and portmanteaus. The most recent one was ‘sparty=star+party’. ’Yeah, language was created by the living beings not only to survive this cruel world but also to communicate all about its beautiful facets. And it is the latter that I’m concerned with.

      Languages. On a random note, do you know of any language that helps you predict the future? A language so revolutionary yet so intuitive that even chimps and pigs learn to use? Poetry in this language assumes a different form. Creativity takes on a different meaning. But unlike all other ‘beautiful’ languages that exist, this language does not believe in breaking rules and creating exceptions. Yet, it is a language that has haters galore and romantics a few. If you still have no clue about the great invention of mankind, maybe it is time to learn how to do it from a dog.

    Well, that was no insult to your intelligence. It is a fact to be appreciated! The very fact that a dog can perform such mental tricks throws some light on the fact that nature around us is beautiful. That, we tend to take things (sometimes people too!) for granted. But I shall spare a few words about this some other time. For now, take a look at what a dog perhaps will never be able to do. It is the same language again!

    Quite dazzled, aren’t you? Well this for sure was no dog’s play. And hearty congratulations if you still have the willpower and the zeal to read ahead despite being freaked out.

    Life has never been oh so much impromptu and intuitive than what it is with me these days. On the 24th and the 25th December of 2011, I went on to attend the 4th star party The pink arrow points to Betelgeuse in Orion.of my life. It gives me great pleasure to say that we at the observatory believe in partying with the real stars. The immortal ones. Well, not exactly immortal but as compared to us they are. I always pity my best friend Anmol Naik who always dreams to watch the star Betelgeuse (pronounced Betel-jooze) explode into a supernova. Now even if this ripe old supergiant rips itself apart this very moment, it will take about 450 years for the news to reach us. And unless my friend here is not cryogenically preserved for those many years, he shall miss it. Unless, the explosion has already occurred 450 years ago. So what does it mean?

    It very simply means that we go to these star parties not only to create and gobble down our versions of Maggi noodles, but primarily to have a look at the past in the present. If this fact fails to blow your mind off, I think your senses have all gone dry. Knowing the fact is not enough. Feeling it and living it is what matters. There is nowhere else that one can do this, look into the past just by turning your head up.

    With the sky, we can feel the past. With the math, we can get a grasp of the future. And with our being, we journey through the present. We are all familiar with time but no one bothers to interpret it. And as they say, it is not going to wait for you to make sense out of itself. Aha!

    Sometimes my detours make me feel like changing the title and the whole purpose of making a particular post. I go away, drifting in a sea of ideas only to be awakened by a change in the mood of the songs that come on shuffle. Ah, that reminds me of probability. And also of music. Some other day, I tell myself.

    For this star-party, we headed to the dangerous Tillari Ghat, in Maharashtra. Dangerous enough for my relatives to scare the hell out of my mother and make her loose a night’s sleep.

   Doesn’t look dangerous from here, but when you undertake that tummy rumbling journey you know that the trip be better worth it. And it turned out that I wouldn’t mind making another hundred trips to get the view of that particular sky again. I usually narrate a particular incident to highlight the ignorance that people have right since the post-industrial revolution period.

“A strange giant, silvery cloud -- The above statement is not at all overly dramatic. It is a real trend. The National Institute of Health's issue of the January 2009 Environmental Health Perspectives Journal included a story from the 1994 Northridge earthquake that knocked out the power in Los Angeles. Apparently local emergency centres then received numerous calls from anxious residents reporting a strange giant, silvery cloud in the dark sky. What they were really seeing — for their first time — was the Milky Way, so obliterated by the urban sky glow that it was quickly forgotten and had practically become an urban legend.”

   I had read the story about 6 years ago. But I shall never forget it due to the repeated validation of this ignorance. In fact, the richest skies are found in the places that we think are ‘poor’. Have a look!

    I would seriously be in a fix if someone promises to set up an amazing observatory in remote Africa and tells me to shift my base there, forever. No kidding.

    In all, 7 people had a rendezvous with the stars. Two telescopes (a 6” and another 5”) and a camera (Canon 500D) is all they had. And boy oh boy, they rocked the night. Not to forget, our driver who was than curious!

    I will not be wrong to say that over the night, we exploited the sky that was exposed to us. 94 Messier, NGC and IC objects along with 40+ meteor sightings is not a joke. And yes, we were exploited back with the chilly winds in the valley. So much so that even if you managed to lock yourself up in the car, you could hear the winds howling outside. Photography being my forte, was running on my mind. After two hours of dedication behind only two images, I decided not to expect much when I come home and process them. The results were one better than the other. And this time, I managed to pleasantly shock my own self. Hah!

Zoom they go.Twist and Shout!

   Two hours of cumulative work had paid off! And my mom finally understood why I took up the ‘risk’ of going to such a ‘dangerous’ place. Phew.

    But what are these lines that you see?

I bet you that you have never seen such lines drawn across the sky! In fact, no one has. What you see, is a trick played by the camera. As you must be knowing, over a period of time the stars move. Well, they appear to move. The simple reason being that just like when we sit in a car and the trees appear to move past us while we are stationary, the Earth is what actually rotates and this rotation is perceived as the motion of the stars across the sky.

  But why is that star in the second photo stationary?

Imagine a globe that covers the entire Earth. Say, the stars are all stuck on the interior of the globe. This is precisely what the celestial sphere is. 

All of us know that the Earth rotates around its axis and that this axis passes through the Earth’s North and South poles.

In our construction, when the Earth rotates, we see that the celestial sphere rotates around this same axis. And co-incidentally, the very same axis points in the direction of the star that does not move!

Thus, we call it the ‘Pole Star’ or the never moving star. The current pole star Polaris is the brightest in the constellation of Ursa Minor. I have seen many people think that the Pole Star is the brightest star in the night sky which is a sad misconception. The brightest star in the night sky is Sirius whereas Polaris is hardly visible from city skies!

If you stand on the equator of the Earth and observe, the pole star will appear to be at the horizon and if you observe the pole star from the north pole itself, it will always remain exactly overhead. Thus, one can infer that the latitude a particular place is at, is equal to the angle the line between you and the pole star makes with the ground!

What the camera does is that it keeps its sensor or film exposed for hours at a stretch and thus picks up the motion of the stars as they chart their path across the sky. The very same thing that the human eye naturally fails to pick up!

Continue reading only if you have a clue about trigonometric functions.

Have you observed that as you move away from the pole star, the trails keep on increasing in length? While I was passing my time under the sky, I wondered if I could find out a way to relatively measure this difference in lengths.

All I knew was that the pole star never covered any distance on the celestial sphere and that the stars on the horizon covered the maximum distance. And what hit my mind immediately was something like this

     This pretty much seemed like common sense to me. But then, one can’t just go around and fit in formulae which work without a formal proof! So I pondered, thought I was wrong and so on. Well, I didn’t expect myself to unearth this!! But what happened is as follows.

[Consider theta to be angle made by the star to the ground; phi to be the latitude of the place. So phi subtracted from theta will be the angle made by the star to the pole star]


   It is pretty easy, this one. But I was overjoyed because I predicted the formula even before getting it. Frankly, it is really simple. But such small things bring joy. This is called poetry using mathematics and of course, common sense gained out of day to day experience. And you get overjoyed especially when you have been bored by studying chemistry for days at a stretch! Do note that the celestial sphere being an imaginary sphere, the radius is not defined. So one can use this only to compare the lengths of arc.

   One thing exciting about the formula is that it if you have stars in a line (along the celestial equator), and let them trail for some time, you shall get trails in the form of a sine wave. Given good enough wide lens and the right perspective, one shall obtain at least 1/4th of the wave.


   So here I am. Exams are approaching and I’m doing science. Identifying problems and finding solutions. This is life! Yes, this is it.

If you did not understand some part of the derivation or any assumption, please send me a mail or leave a comment as I have derived it in hurry after working for 6 hours to make this blog post. Phew. I leave you with some images, do scroll over them for the captions.

The original derivationSparty time!



December 19, 2011

Me, poetexter.


Oh yes, you read that right. It is a portmanteau I created by merging poetry and texting.

     And that is what I have been doing lately. Elegantly gliding my fingers over the keypad much to my mother’s agony and amusement and churning out poems. Within me, a poet lives. A poet thrives on those small strands of experiences that I go through everyday.

     Today, a friend of mine texted me the following.


“The way sand absorbs water, it feels as if the water is tracing back into time…”


   What she got back from me in a while was something that went like this. I’m cruel, you see.


“The way sand absorbs water,

Feels like the water

Is tracing back into time.

This, marvel of nature.


The way the waves wash away,

Those sins on our feet,

Is transient as ever.

Forgiveness, is still alive.


Sins and waves, both

They never do stop, never.

Feet draw in, and stagnate.

Right into the sands of life.


Washed away, memories

Blurry as they ever have been,

Are the only vehicles, they say

To turn time, right back.”


      Yes, that is pretty much all that I could conjure up in one go. Not a bad attempt, I’d say. And this is not all. It is just a poem in the midst of the tens I have written this month. Since the onset of the current month, the dam of poetic thoughts and inspirations has broken free. Maybe listening to songs by The Beatles is adding in. I guess I have inspired many more hidden poets to come out, and am proud of them!

     An obsessive thinker, I just can’t help turning philosophical texts into poems and sending them back to you. Now unless you decide to pester me, be prepared to get a poetext free with every beautiful text you shower me with.

    Beware. Might just blow your mind off.


December 13, 2011

121 : Geminids revisited.

     In this post sourced from the AFA-Goa blog, I revisit one of the most thrilling experiences of my life; the Geminds shower of 2010! Since then, I have grown from discovering one of the best and the most user friendly meteor shower websites to working as a managing editor of the same website, Spacedex which is run by an amazing guy, Travis Brown! The moon phase kills it this year around though.
           14th December 2010 would have passed of in my life as an another rather ordinary day, had it not been for some bouts of craziness that only astronomy can instil in oneself. Since a few years that I have been involved in amateur astronomy, this was one of the most fulfilling moments that I had. I was on duty at the observatory, a cold winter night promised me some of the usual delights of the sky including the awesome nebula in Orion and the Andromeda galaxy, along with a dazzling display by the Moon and Jupiter to brighten my day up. Little did I know, that there was a big thing waiting in line, down the horizon!  
           As me and my colleague and friend Anmol Naik let the visitors peep through the universe through the 5” telescope, we managed to catch a glimpse of a few meteors here and there, which aroused our interests. As an amateur, I am not supposed to forget stuff like prominent meteor showers, but that is what I did!! Realising that we had a good sky in hand, one of the best of the season, we decided to have a meteor watch the very next day after checking out the fine details of the event. But, confusion with time zones prevailed and this led to the chaos!    After resuming my usual internet browsing session at home that very night, I found to my horror that the shower was meant to peak at midnight. The very same night!
               Realizing that I had just a hour or two in hand, I pressed the panic button and started making frantic calls to my seniors and fellow observers to hatch a plan for observation. This started to look seemingly difficult to materialize as our seniors were just returning from a programme at Bondla. But after a few swings from one end to the other, we finally got the nod for the night!!!    Meteored!
     And there we were, the three of us, me, Anmol and Omkar Borkar who had decided to brave the cold nights of December to catch a glimpse of this amazing annual display called Geminds! Getting a little technical, the Geminids have a radiant lying just besides Castor, one of the heads of the twins in the constellation Gemini. This shower is said to be the 2nd most consistent meteor shower annually, after the Persids and has garnered a lot of attraction from astronomy fanatics this decade due to the rise in its activity which is caused due to the remains of comet 3200 Phaethon in the the orbit of the Earth around the sun. The expected peak rates for India ranged from a 60-140 ZHR. But, as we were to observe form a location affected by light pollution, we expected much less of a show. The last time I had stayed back for a shower, I had seen only 15 meteors through-out the whole course of observation throughout the night, that being the 2009 Quadrantid shower. As I was leaving home, I just managed to message a schoolmate of mine, Riya Borkar that there was shower happening tonight as I knew she was very much interested in astronomy and incidentally one can see her window from the Observatory, and thus ensued a round of crazy gesturing to her to communicate to her the general direction to look up to. I was really glad to see people getting interested in such events, by looking at the number of updates posted about the shower on Facebook. But now, was the time for the show to begin! 
             After a quick tour through a few Messier objects,  we settled down, our heads making an angle of 120° with each other. As the show began, we realized that we would get much more than expected!!!   Our main motive being to enjoy the shower, we didn’t give much strain on carrying out a detailed observation nor photography due to the lack of manpower, but did not forget to make a mention of every meteor that we observed, with respect to its path and magnitude. For an hour or so, we had to face the extreme. From a period of a few meteors in a minute to a dry spell of about five minutes, we had to face it all! But, with the true spirit and patience of an amateur, we sang and talked our way, perhaps just to make sure that we do not doze off! 
              After a short break and a tally, we concluded that the plan was a success and truly worth all the hassle taken! Most of the brighter meteors ended up in the constellations of Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor and Auriga, with Gemini not far behind. During the next spell, the mercury dropped even lower, making way for the chilly winds. Although the magnitudes of the meteors ranged from -3 to 4, we did no distinct fireballs or ‘bolideswere observed, but that is very much typical of the Geminds. By that time we had a tally of 121 meteors, and that number would be good enough to last me for a few lifetimes, to put it straight! This was our first major shower observation, and the number of ‘WOW’s would have made our mood very clear to you, if you had graced your presence!  
             Unfortunately, at about 2:25 am, due to the wind-speed, we had clouds moving in slowly and thus forcing us to cut short our observation, almost half-way!! Although, this very news IMG_4375was disheartening, it could not overshadow the joy of seeing all those bright wonders, streaks of light that made my day! We wrapped up in a matter of minutes and despite being prepared to stay awake the whole night, we found more sense in sleeping under the table (employed some science in here) in the observatory room besides the terrace, thus ending another one of our crazy endeavours with an equally funny thing. Besides that, we also conducted observation of Venus and Saturn in the morning before leaving for our respected houses. Oh yes, I missed school that day. But it was worth it in the end!
(A time-lapse video of the Geminids sourced from YouTube)

December 9, 2011

Astronomy–The Mother of All Sciences

Below, you will find a copy of the talk that I delivered on the occasion of the Science Seminar organised by my school, Mushtifund Higher Secondary. Do feel free to share, download and spread knowledge!

November 18, 2011

Work in Progress.

Isn’t it all that we are? Work in progress?
Fly like a bird in the yonder,
Be there where you never were.
Let the night wait for another day,
Fear, let it hide for a while.

No unknown awaits those who,
Know thyself, in and out.
Be the leaf that knows to be one,
with the water it drifts in.
Forever. And ever.

Morning shall come. Oh, so soon.
Dig away all you can, gold or dust.
The glitter that matters is not,
That yellow but your eyes.

      That’s what I felt when I was walking down from quite an abstract experience from a recent movie that I saw. It was all there, in the air. The mind lay bare naked, waiting to be interpreted. So I thought to myself, why don’t you do the same? A cloud of thoughts, unrelated perhaps but brought together under one roof. And that’s what I have done. I’m here to experiment! Let it be a conversation!
     Not many have asked me why I maintain a blog. Let me be very frank with you. I blog so that I can preserve a slice of my life for years to come. Everything else is secondary! Yes, there is the fame and the praise that you get along with years of sweat. I must say that people don’t like what you write until you can relate it with them. Incentives, people look for them. Today, I’m writing because my heart tells me to do so. Over a year, my writing has become more effective and that credit goes to this blog. It is often easy to impress others, but not yourself.
      Have you ever lived a moment in slow-motion? Have you ever felt time slow down at a particular moment? There are the times which you would always love to carry around in your heart. If these were all that you had for life, you’d be more than happy. Right from those few moments of eye contact, a hug from your mother to winning what you truly wished and worked for. Everybody has those moments. But hey, have you ever lived any sad moment in slow motion?
      Have you ever made a person who was crying laugh? I think I have! Boy oh boy, it does feel good doing so! What can be better than this? People tell me that I look very ‘serious’ all the while. Sometimes I think whether that is good or bad! But all I can say is that if I can, so can you! Learn from me that you don’t need to be a joker to make a people laugh! You just have to be a person who is willing to make someone’s day. Have you anytime made someone’s day and preferred to not let the person know that it was your deed?
     Jokers, eh? It’s their job to make people laugh. Once, somebody told me to be like one. Even if you are hurt, you are in pain, no worries. Spread happiness. Maybe that will make you happy! If you can’t be happy, let others be! It’s real easy, to put on a fake smile. And if you are not a good actor (I am not!), it is even more easier to catch you in the act. Don’t act happy to fool your own self, it will never work. Act happy to fool others, it might just work!
The next time some guy dials up a wrong number and get’s connected to you, tell him that mistakes do happen. Tell him that it’s no problem. And yes, don’t forget to wish him goodnight. Why are we so shy?
      So when was the last time when you cried your heart out? Locked yourself in a room and punched a few pillows? Was it the bad marks? Was it love that meted out injustice to you? Whatever the reason maybe, take care. Take care that you end up being a stronger person every time you come out of an horrendous experience? Hey, ever cried out of happiness?
     Goosebumps! I’m getting them all over my body right now. Funnily, I don’t know why! I’m acting hyper. Feels like I’m on caffeine!  Have you ever felt like Superman? Have you done anything crazy lately? Danced alone on a song, perhaps? Or laughed staring into nothingness? I do that all the while. People think I’m mad. And I love it that way! Do you?
       Sometimes I do mistakes. I do a lot one day, none on the other. But I’m not supposed to be perfect. No one is! Making mistakes makes me realize that I am as human as any other person. They do say that folks should learn from their mistakes. But there are times wherein I love to do the same mistake again, or do new mistakes for what I learn each time is new. Is there any particular mistake that you would love doing? Just for that experience! Every one has some or the other stuff that is to be proud of. Stuff that is locked up and stuffed in the attic of guilt. Yes, there are a few things that I’m not proud of. But I have learnt to live with them, and not totally wash my hands off them. Keeping them constantly in your mind helps you to steer clear of such land-mines that can leave you handicapped for life.
      Alright, answer this! Is it better that you know many people? Or is it better thatIs it me? many people know you? And no, one doesn’t always imply the other. I’m confused on this one! Maybe you can be of help. Though this up when I was at the saloon yesterday. For the first time in my life, I fell asleep while I got my hair cut! And someone proclaimed that I looked like a blue ‘Angry Bird’. All I could respond was by scratching my head and wondering, “Really?”
     So have you ever found yourself listening to a song for quite a long time? It might be a song that you love, a song that suites your current mood (maybe a mood-changer song!) or because you have had heartbreak? Have you ever heard about sematic satiation? It’s the phenomenon wherein a word loses its meaning when repeated often enough. Try it.
…love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love….
    Yes, that’s the sad state. It is over used. Why do we have to go about naming every feeling? Sometimes I find that they loose their meaning when we cheapen them using words. And love is a broad word. I regret the fact that people sometimes use the word for anything and everything. It’s not a word that I’d look into a dictionary to find meaning for. And yes, it’s not only people that one can love. Frankly, I get scared of using the word. If I ever utter “I’m in love”, people pounce on me. “Who is the lucky one? Who is she?”. I can only sigh.
     To be selfless in love is not at all an easy task. It no ways is. It’s hard not to be jealous, frustrated and angry when someone does better than you at something that you love, when someone steals away your loved one. But if ever were so, that wouldn’t be love I say. It’s confusion and chaos. One never expects anything back. Keeps on going, dedication, hard work and a smile. If you do it for anything, that’s love!
       Lastly, have you ever stood on the edge of a cliff or in the deep sea? Surrendering thyself to the  forces of nature? The winds that whistles, the leaves that shimmer being the only sounds that matter. The waves rock you back and forth like a mother rocks her young one’s cradle. Let them overpower you. Take you away where you are destined to be. The vastness of the deep blue sea awaits, the transient currents being your vehicle. Let it go, your worries.
    Phew. What else do I have to say? Nothing. Yapped a lot today. But yes, this world is full of ‘oh-so-amazing’ people. People who are waiting to be discovered! People who have always been hiding their true selves. It is that they were hiding it, or you were not seeing it? Ask yourself.
    Go out. Show the world that you too are a work in progress. An instrument that craves for perfection despite knowing the fact that one can’t be so. Show them all that you live life for your own self.
Close your eyes, and give this a listen.
Keep it simple, silly!

October 28, 2011

Oi pilot!

An attempt to write down in one sitting how a day in a life of a motorcycle-pilot can be.


         Today, I am writing down something meaningful for the first time in my life.  It took me some time to get started though, and my wife is still wondering why I have decided to take my son’s pencil in my hands. But I can’t help it! My brain is clogged up with thoughts like never before. It has been an extraordinary day for the motorcycle pilot that I am!

      I have decided to stop surviving and start living. I have not read all the great philosophers that you might have, but I have had experiences. The ones that can change a life.

      It’s been two years since I started ferrying Mohanji to the temple every morning. He is the typical old aged guy that you see all the time; complete with a walking stick and a shopping bag in his hands. Not to forget, those thick glasses that sat on his nose! Well, I still remember they way I first met him. While returning home, I saw this old guy chasing down a pick-pocket with his stick. Yes, it was hilarious to see such a scene but I saw some extraordinary spirit in this guy. After he finally let go of the pick-pocket I decided to take him, free of cost. It was a decision that I would never regret!

     Today, like any other day he was the reason why I wake up with enthusiasm. Picking him up every morning and listening to how his day was is what makes me look forward to live another day. He tells me that he has only his wife to talk to. His kids abandoned him few years ago with pension being his only means of earning his bread and butter. But today was destined to be different. Mohanji never came. The only time this had happened before was when he had fallen down from the stairs, a year ago! I waited for quite a while. Growing impatient, I walked up to his house. To my surprise, there was a lock on the door. A few moments later, I came to know that he had passed away the day before.

    For a moment, I thought that a part of me went numb, something went missing. I never felt as hollow as I had felt at that moment. With a heavy heart and an utterly confused mind, I walked towards my motorcycle. I drove away in denial to the very same temple. I had to say a few prayers for my dead friend who had taught me enough already. Those two years, they just flew past my eyes. Sigh! I had to move on. Somehow or the other, I had to!

    The morning passed by and in a few hours I found myself resting near the beach with my tiffin box. I had a few minutes to have my lunch if I wished to bag a few decent trips. Then again, I got reminded of Mohanji.

      And then for the first time in my memory, I felt frustrated, as if a war was brewing within myself. So this was how it felt! For the past few years I felt no sense in feeling sad, depressed or lamenting over something. I accepted the fact that I’m here to eat and sleep, and perhaps feed my family. Where does the pain fit in? How does it matter when I barely manage to make end meet? And then, something weird happened.

     I cried.

    You might ask me what is so great in crying, eh? Have you anytime felt frustrated? That too in the middle of a crowd? Suddenly realized how bad things were? You must have! But today, the loss was unbearable. And without paying attention to all those people passing by, I cried out aloud. There I was, doing things that I never thought were socially acceptable. If babies can cry, why can’t I? If people kiss on a beach, no one cares. But if I cry at the same place, they all think that I’m gone mad. Some might think I’m suffering from a deadly disease. Makes me wonder, what is the difference between these emotions? People are at peace with happiness, aren’t they?

     But there was a gem that i unearthed from today’s experience. One should always express their emotions. Putting a lid on them, especially for years makes you less of a human. Someday, sometime they all are bound to burst out as a volcano. Some cry for attention while others cry hunting for peace. Emotions are meant to be expressed, not buried deep within.

     I love watching people on the streets. They walk, they talk and sometimes they run. While some run behind the busses that they are about to miss, others run like wild apes after money. I wish I could do something with my life, I wish I could be one of those rich guys……but….. Sigh!

     It was late afternoon, all that gloom had worn off. And I was out on the streets, doing my usual trips. Just after dropping a woman and her child at the bus station, I came across an unusual sight. It was a monk in ochre. Buddhist, if I’m not mistaken. And as I stared at him, I realized that he was walking in my direction. Ah! this day is already turning out to be impactful, I thought to myself. And yes, it turned out that he was new to the place and it seemed that he was here to meet a childhood friend of his who apparently lived on the other edge of the town. Not bad, I thought to myself. Maybe I can get some conversation started!

   As it turned out, there was no need for all of that. We soon indulged in small talk, good enough for such a long trip through the traffic. But as luck would have it, we met with an accident soon enough!

   With all those things that happened to me today, I was not in a right state of mind. Add to that, talking with a guy seemed to distract me more than usual today! With all of these things going against me, I crashed into a big car. At such times, it doesn’t matter how many potholes and stupid drivers one has evaded in his driving career. One mistake can spoil your life and the customer’s life too! All because of a mistimed brake, I crashed into the rear of that car. Both, me and the monk were thrown off the bike. Soon enough, a crowd gathered. The driver of the car came barging at me and gave me a slap. There was a huge commotion, but funnily I didn’t speak a word. I didn’t react at all. The driver, the rich man that he seemed he was kicked my motorcycle and after finding it futile to argue with me, just jotted down the registration number and vacated the place.

   I burst out in a smile the moment he left. I still wonder why I did that! Someone told me that when you get depressed, the craziness gets to you! Soon, we were on our way. Oh the bike! It wasn’t damaged a lot, just a dented mudguard and that’s all! In no time, our conversation was back on track. Just that it took a different route this time. It was about serious stuff!

    The monk first lauded me for my ability to stay calm in such situations. He was under the impression that I could control my anger and such. But he was in a state of shock when I hold him the truth. When I told him that the friend the ‘rich’ driver was once a best friend of mine. That I used to share my tiffin with him way back in school. That a lottery win has taken him where he is right now. Yes, that is the truth. I wonder how a friend could ever slap another.

     And the best was about to come! Soon enough, the monk told me about the Buddhist philosophy of ‘detachment’. All that he said was that once you are used to something like a material object, a person or a way of living, one should also make himself tough and brave enough to survive without that particular thing. He says that things don’t last forever. If even they look to do so, we shouldn’t be shocked it something turns against out wishes. One should accept such hiccups and live on! An old friend mistreating me was bad enough to shock me out of wits. But if due to certain circumstances things have turned out to be that way, I should do my best to get it back to good. Morals and values take a toss in-front of materialistic goals, he was saddened the most with this fact!

    The time had come for me to drop him to his destination. I just hoped that he too didn’t receive a cold shoulder from his friend. Then I thought if I really wanted to be a ‘rich’ guy one day.

    With all that happened today, it took time for all of this to sink in. But in the end, it all made sense. Here I am, facing a loss and nursing a slap which my wife still doesn’t know about. All I wish is that she doesn’t mistakenly assume that a kiss is what has given me a red cheek. My hands are aching now, I have written too much. Enough of my stories for now! That was a day in my life, not just another ordinary day.

October 26, 2011


Just one question. It might change your life.
If you follow a particular religion, I just need you to tell me why you do so.
Once you do that, also tell me why you do not follow other religions that are accessible to you.
If you could answer all that without feeling uncomfortable or dumbstruck , you need no help! Be happy that you  know what you are doing.
But if you felt that I just shook you awake, opened up your eyes or so then this is absolutely for you.
     Now if you believe in the existence of a certain entity called ‘God’ then please take note that religion does not start and end with praying and performing rituals to appease him when you feel threatened by your future. Even if he exists, the entity is not there to help you in times of trouble. Only you can. That’s simply lame! Let me assure you that rituals are not going to take you anywhere closer to your goals. Time for you to rethink even more of you believe that praying to Lord Ganesh makes you a Hindu and doing the same to Jesus makes you a Catholic. If you can relate yourself with this, do bother to imagine myself laughing at you.
    Although I’m an atheist (Scientific Pantheist) to be specific, I shall not indulge in rubbishing the institution of ‘God’ here as it is beyond the purview of our discussion. Also, in a short while I shall try to present before you a widely prevailing scientific theory that your future exists and is as much real as your past. That if there exists a theory of everything, we can look at the universe using a deterministic view. Your future could be predicted using equations as I have already posted before. No, that doesn’t mean that your astrologer already knows them. If he did, he would have already bagged the Nobel.
   The undeniable fact is that we have deviated so much from our roots that we have forgotten our core values. Ask any kid, he will tell you that he follows his religion as his parents do the same. I find it hard to digest. If we do not like their style of clothing or maybe the music that they prefer, we vehemently voice our opinions. But why are we scared to do so when it comes to religion? Without having a grasp over the core thoughts, how do you even ‘follow a religion’?
    Have a look at the definition of ‘religion’ itself.
    noun /riˈlijən/  religions, plural
    1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or Gods.
    2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.
    3. A particular system of faith and worship.
    4. A pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
As you see, religion was meant to be a way of living life. And we all know how bad the implementation has been. Ancient texts which dictated the truth have been tarnished by we, humans.
   Lets get to the point.
    Majority of people lack philosophies for life. They just survive, not live. Do ponder upon this subtle difference. Ask yourself and note down what beliefs you have faith in. If you do not mould your life and it’s subsequent workings around certain ideas, you are no better than a lost soul! Do you have firm ideas that you will follow and find peace in till death? If you haven’t picked up lessons from your observations and experiences, you are just digging your own grave. And praying to God is not going to make the situation any better.
Reach out to the truth!
        It’s time to rise high above religions. Above casts, creed and discrimination. It’s all about being human, with a spice of our own!
    After giving it a lot of thought, I have gather up the courage to propose a set of philosophies that will make sense to anyone and everyone. They are not an alternative to religion, but are at a different level altogether! They are simple and they are effective in today’s world. They are fundamental truths that you just can’t ignore, you just can’t contradict. They are elegant and beautiful.
Together, they make up ‘Happism’.
It’s a compendium of the cream of all religious philosophies. It’s a pile of our own experiences. A guide to live life happily and to keep others happy to.
Goals of Happism
  • To make and keep everyone happy from within, all the time.
  • To make human relations richer and less complex.
  • To make people stop surviving and start living.
  • To collect, spread and empower people with the power of Happism.
  • To eradicate discrimination between people of any sort.
  • To convince people that humanity can override any ‘higher power’.
  • To walk hand in hand with scientifically established truths.
  • To safeguard the integrity of the above listed goals.
Remember, you might be mortal. But not your thoughts!!
Features of Happism
  • No ruling authority or leader as thoughts are universal.
  • Anyone and everyone can pick up the philosophies and adapt them as per his/her situation without distorting the ideas beyond recognition.
  • People are encouraged to contribute to the main ideas, making it a wiki of ideas and philosophies.
  • One can take it up being an atheist or a theist as these thoughts do not comment upon ‘God’.
  • As it runs parallel to religion, one doesn’t have to swap religions. Be secular. Show respect.
Feel free to have a healthy discussion below about the thoughts as presented above! I shall unveil the main philosophies only when we all have a discussion, when we agree upon stuff. What we are looking for is stuff like ‘Always speak the truth’. Let me again clarify that I have nothing against theists, and this is to do with ideas around which our lives revolve.
Like Happism on Facebook to show your support!
So please contribute towards it. Spread the word! Please contribute! I can’t do this alone. We can.

October 12, 2011

No mess candle-stand.

I’m answering my terminal exams right now. And yes, there is a power cut-off due to the pestering rains. Having nothing else to do, I thought this up.

1) Take a candle.

2) Place it on a plate.

3) Put water in the plate.

4) Light up the candle.

And there you go! It’s as simple as that. The wax that falls of will just float on water. It’s common-sense you might say and I do expect you to go “why didn’t I think of this?”

It’s one of the most simple way of have a clean candle-stand, one in which wax gives you no trouble at all!

It would be good if you set aside a plate for the candle as I consider it to be much safer if you fixate the candle on the plate. That will eradicate all the possibilities of it falling over and burning up your examination notes.

And as my buddies Atharv and Shubhankar suggested, we could possibly recycle the wax in the water. Now how is that for an idea?

Now it is your turn to spread the idea!


  If you are lucky enough, you will get so see wax forming such beautiful hexagonal structures!


Small ideas can make a world of difference.



October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs. When apples couldn't keep doctors away.

  Today, we all stand at the crossroads of technology. I’m listening to songs on my iPod Touch, and I feel depressed. They might call you a genius, a pioneer or maybe the best innovator the industry ever had. But I’d say that you are one of the best persons who ever walked on this planet. Some might rubbish you for not being the perfect person, but they might just be jealous of you. For now, let's assume you are near perfect. No, one doesn't don’t have to be a geek to appreciate you!

You are Steve Jobs.
     It’s true that we realise the true worth of anything once we have lost. Yes, I miss you already. I can’t help writing down why you were, are and will be of great worth to the whole of humanity. Life is a waste without knowing about you, without experiencing the elegance and simplicity that you spread. As a friend of mine pointed out, you might have died at 56 but there are more than 56 reasons to remember you.
    You were adopted right when you were born. Now I don’t know how that feeling is, of living your life and being cared for by people who share no blood with you. But I am sure it wasn’t the best that ever happened, yet you found paradise in it. That’s what being human is all about!
   You dropped out from college. No, that’s not a example that everyone should follow. There is no fun when a deviation becomes the norm of the game. Yet, you toppled all those who passed out from the best of the best universities in the world. But that’s not the fact why I look up to you. It’s the passion, the will to make an impact, the killer instinct that drives you to make the world a better place that got you up there.
   You taught me that the dots will connect looking backward. Sitting down on the floor besides many young people of my age, I was impressed yet skeptical when I listened to what you had to say at your Stanford Commencement Address.  One year down the line, I saw the video again. And it so much makes sense! In fact, your video was a part of the jigsaw, it was a dot by itself that I have connected today, all thanks to the soul-searching that I had to do for my MIT application. Things, both bad and good make sense to me now. They happened for a cause, and will happen. I have learnt to accept things, yet question them!
    Technology, you changed the way we define it! It’s an indispensible part of our lives all thanks to you! Yes, you are the Rajinikanth of Silicon Valley! I heard that you got kicked out by the person you got into your company. Ouch! Yet, you coped up with it and had the last laugh! How did you do that? How can anybody withstand all that mental and social agony and rise from the ashes? When people clap for your innovation and simplicity, deep down they are jealous. They know they will never be able to reach to your level. I bet heaven will be a better place from today.
      Stay hungry, Stay foolish. I found it difficult to comprehend such a statement. But with the passage of time, I have learnt that we should stop living somebody else’s life, that’s so not us! Wow. I am quoting you all over! Yes, you have revitalized me today. You have drilled the fact into me that if I carry on doing what I love, I will end up where I deserve to be!! Yes, I will! Why won’t it? I know what I love, and that’s what I am going to do. I promise you!
     People might look up stuff in the holy books to keep them going on. For me, it will be those 10 minutes of gospel truth. The truth of life! I wish I could paste it all here. But there is no need for me to do that. I will never forget those words.
    Lastly, it’s about your cancer. We were lucky enough that you could live and are extremely honoured that you served us and catered to our need to the best of your ability. Yet, there are times when the teacher has to stop teaching and let the students apply what they have learnt. Today, I feel like your student. Everyone does. Even in your death, I am sure millions will find an inspiration! Now that is the way anybody would love to bid farewell to the world. Yes, death is the best invention of life, I have played with it quite often. But overcoming death is one thing and overcoming it and changing the way people look at the world is another!
     My pretty words will do no justice to you. But I shall still cry. Will I never ever get to see you again? I really miss you.
I salute you,
I salute your spirit!
Shall never let you down!


“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

-Apple Inc.

October 2, 2011

Destiny’s Children. Or another random post.

Life manages to be exciting, yet scary at the same time. But can we help it?
When words want to flow,
Things, they long to happen.
Sparks desire to fly all around,
Let them!

People, they want to be discovered.
Shooting stars await to be wished upon.
Roads, they hope you walk over.
Breathe life into them.

The present will soon be the past.
The past, which will always last.
You shall always remain who you are.
Destiny’s child.
   The above piece of poetry is nothing but the outcome of floating all ‘across the universe’ thanks to The Beatles. It’s much more than a song I say. Lennon, heavily influenced by the ‘Transcendental Meditation’ that he did in India, penned down one of the most poetic song that he has ever churned out. If you have not heard it yet, please do so!
                       Insert caption 3
    On a philosophical note, life is like a roller coaster that you can ride only once. It’s free, and for every up there is a down. Reality, is an illusion. What drives you are your thoughts, your vehicle of perception. What white is for you, might be black for someone else. You might ask me what is so unique about being unique itself. Well, it’s not a flashy tag that you can wear around. It’s your attitude towards life, your nature and belief in humanity that rubs off. The more you become a part of someone, you can’t avoid that someone becoming a bigger part of you. If all of this doesn’t make sense to you, be happy. You are different from me. But if you do, take it for granted that you think too much!
     Ask yourself what you will do if you meet your mirror-self the very next moment. You feel that you are the luckiest guy around. But then, wait for a day. He does what you do. He has done and will do what you do. You have nothing to hide from him, no stories to tell or surprises to give. Will that be good or bad? I leave that question for you to answer. All I can tell you is that never touch him. If he is your anti-matter image, you both will end up as a hoard of photons, with no resemblance to your former presence.
    What I tried to convey is that opposites simply don’t attract. It’s the law of nature. It’s not healthy to search for a person just like you. Variety is truly the spice of life! It’s being different, having undergone a different set of experiences that makes this world tick. The rich and the poor, the bus driver and your favourite author. The Suppandi and the superman, they all have a niche for themselves in our life. Well, it’s time we respect these small differences. For if you look at the similarities, don’t crib over the fact genetically speaking that the ape you see in the zoo is 98.5% similar to you! Life might be an exam, but I can assure you that no two people will ever be made to answer the same paper. So it’s of no use trying to ‘copy’ or imitate someone else’s living. Be different and scream, roar aloud riding the roller coaster of your dreams. Well, or do this.

       If you are still awake, let me tell you how the past few days were.
My geology practical examinations took place on the 29th of September. Well, the time limit stressed me out. And yeah, I came home with a bad mood, put on the internet and hunted for peace on my iPod. And naturally, I Facebooked. There, I met this crazy girl who hates veggies, her name being Saloni Sardessai and somehow ended up chatting about Sagittarius. Here is how the conversation was like.
317816_2429853113491_1466505639_32695800_1795691553_nShe : Sagittarians are an amazing bunch!
Typical Me : Have ever seen the constellation itself? The Milky Way is soo beautiful!
She : Wow! I’d loveeee to see it!
Me : Do you have a terrace?
She : Not one, but two!
Me : See you tonight!
Yeah, that’s how stuff is with me. I’m pretty instinctive and a man who lives for the moment. And when something is remotely related to astronomy, I don’t see why I won’t jump on it! We added two more people to the list. Maithili ‘sorry’ Shankhwalkar and Akshay ‘oxy’ Juwarkar were ever-willing to join in to do some astronomy for the first time in their lives. It was truly fun, and I naturally can’t describe it in words!
Here is a list of what we saw.

The Summer Triangle. Cygnus, Aquila et Lyra.

Teapot eh? well, our ancestors thought that this was a centaur and named it as ‘Sagittarius’!

   This might look like a M, W or a Σ. I leave it to your imagination! This nineteen century old constellation is known as Cassiopeia and she is supposed to be the Queen! Well, Maithili couldn’t help herself from being happy as her initial is up there in the sky!

     One of the only constellation that actually resembles the object that it is named after is Scorpio, the scorpion! The α star, Antares was as red as a traffic signal. What a sight it was, this majestic constellation!
I saw a sporadic meteor streak past, but unfortunately these people didn’t get to see it. They were all pretty much amazed at how small and insignificant we are on the cosmic scale. Yet, we cry over small things. I just can’t stop getting philosophical!!
Although we did not see the Milky Way, we had an amazing time at Saloni’s place! If not for astronomy, we always had some gossip! And the best part is that the girls built up some curiosity about Greek mythology into me! Life was at its best. I had my chemistry practical exams the next day, but I was pretty much confident about them. Moreover, I had a life to live and constellations to hunt on Akshay’s iPad!!!
These Facebook statuses sum it all up.
Yes, I am using Facebook’s new ‘Timeline’ feature before it is even released! Boo you! Smile with tongue out
     Talking about yesterday, there was this quiz organised by the PTA of GVM’s Higher Secondary School and was quiz-mastered by Wilson Vaz, who is an amazing physics teacher and person besides being a really cool quiz-master! It was to be my last school quiz ever!!! Now that’s something really emotional!
   Now what is life without a little bit of thrill? So let there be spice. Me and my partner Pradnya Rane were told by the school authorities that the quiz beings at 10:30 am. But on the day of the quiz, reading the circular I realized the time for the preliminaries was 9:00am. I looked at my watch. It was 9:01 am. And then we just panicked! But we had a lot of luck, so we made it.
     Me, Pradnya, Shantanu Kulkarni and Akshay Juwarkar finally reached Kala Academy, the venue for the quiz. I was participating in a GK quiz after a year. I had lost my ‘Midastouch’ in quizzing, or at least that’s what I thought! As per me, we fared badly in the prelims. Little did we know that others had it worse! Akshay constantly told me that people there feared me more than anybody else. I had developed a killer reputation two years ago, and that is still imprinted on their minds! But I was like “Dude, I am no longer THE quizzer! I have come here for fun, and not to win it!”.
     But destiny had some other plans for me. Fast forward, it was a easy ride and I scraped through with a mere lead of 5 points. I felt that I had won this quiz merely on my past experiences and not on terms of my usual heroics and buzzer tearaways! But it counts as a victory!  The second place went to Mushtifund-Aryaan HSS, it’s all in the Mushtifund Saunstha I say! Shashwat and Tiwari were amazing competition and Akshay along with Shantanu proved to be a real good ‘support staff’! Not to forget, Mushtifund HSS wouldn’t be up there if it was not for Pradnya! Hats off to her! Yeah, that’s what they called themselves! I am leaving the field while I stand at the peak.
     Quizzing was, has and will be an integral part of my life. I dedicate the nearly 15 state victories to all the people who make me up. If you think it is you, give yourself a pat on the back! Thank you!
     That’s a small part of what all happened this week. It was really exciting. Like nothing before! And yeah, I have some amazing announcements to make and will blog about them real soon!

Till then, Clear skies!!

September 28, 2011

The ‘Baalti’ List.

The name says it all. It’s my bucket list. If you still don’t have a clue what that is supposed to mean, click here.

Items are in a random order, those in bold are already put in place. Shall fill in more very soon!!

  • Inspire and give quality education to a 100 people.
  • Experience weightlessness.
  • Go backpacking all over Europe just to eat.
  • Stop being picked upon for being thin. Grow stout and plum.
  • Lush fields, a million stars, the Milky Way and a hand in my hand.
  • Stay for a month in Varanasi.
  • Meet Lance Armstrong.
  • Complete reading Roger Penrose’s The Road to Reality:A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe.
  • Get a doctorate. Two, three or four perhaps.
  • Adventure sports. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
  • Serve cancer patients. Make them happy.
  • Produce a soothing music album of my own. Videos too. Single handed.
  • Die with a smile.


September 7, 2011

To Dream Or Not To.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”
Mont 2
     Only if life was this easy, and quotes like this were the secret to success, I wouldn’t be writing this post and nor would you have bothered to read it. If you are just another guy who find this topic relevant, let me tell you that you are not alone. In this post, I shall try to give my personal opinion on the uncertain future, dreaming big, the anxiety and the fear of having to deal with a tragedy at the end of the struggle. I may not be the guy with a lamp who shall  guide you to safety at the end of the road,  for I myself am searching for a refuge. Rest assured, you will feel better by the time I wrap up this post. It’s a candid post I’m penning all this down to satiate my thirst for the truth because drinking Sprite won’t work. I tried.
      We all dream. And we all dream big! Remember, what might be a small dream for you isn’t that small for your neighbour. And while it might mean getting into the best university for you, it might as well mean making the hottest girl on campus fall for you. Some, like me tend to get obsessed with one particular dreams whereas a ‘gifted’ few have the innate ability to jump from one failed dream to another. And it’s not that one always becomes successful by being obsessed! I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that dreaming, and hoping for the best comes naturally to us.
    But the question is whether it is fair for everyone to dream big, hope for the best against the odds and live under a constant fear of rejection and failure. What if you aim for the moon and miss it? There is a vast void between the stars! What if you end up there, in the middle of nowhere? It’s a question that doesn’t let you sleep if you plan to run against the wind. It’s like walking on the road less taken, alone at night. However strong and fearless you might be, no human will ever tread this path without looking behind, for help or for moral support. Unless you are Rajinikant, you will doubt if you can make it. Maybe once, maybe twice, but one will! At least I do it all the time, perhaps I should try adding –inikant to my name! There is the fear of the unknown that holds one behind. It’s a fear like none other. Getting scared of where you will be and who you will be a few years down the lane can either screw your case up, or it can elevate you to the next level and make you achieve great heights in life. It simply depends upon your own set of experiences and your attitude.
    Yes, this post is somewhat focused towards all the students just like yours truly and was due sooner or later. For those who do not know, I’m currently in the 12th standard, supposedly firm on my career decision, according to a few I’m doing great. But what is the use of people saying this and that if I myself am not satisfied? I’m asking for more not because I know that one ceases to be a ‘human’ once the desire for excellence dries away, but only because you and the whole wide world, I’m in the pursuit of happiness. I’m trying to live the middle class dream. What I dream of looks so gigantic to me that on a certain day it might look like a cakewalk, but on a few others I feel like I will never survive the climb. A few things that I have realized that when you plan to steer against the tide, you do need a anchor, a pillar like support in your life. At least I do! I know I should have faith in myself till the end. Faith not only that I shall make it to the top, but also that if required I shall accept that fact that I was not sculpted to accomplish the task.
Oh yeah, that's a sine wave!
       This world can easily make you feel like a dog, even if you are not. People who have either a big, inflated ego or just the opposite, it is very difficult to find a right blend, a perfect cocktail of a person! The funniest part is that it does not take much flattery or criticism to push you from one category to another. I have come across a wide range of people in this respect. It’s not a good sight, I tell myself. The truth is that we all have been there. Either thinking too high of themselves or thinking that we are good for nothing. One fails to realize that even the best in the game has his reservations, he too doubts his own self to some extent! In my class, there are a lot of people who are dreaming of getting into the IITs and are working hard towards it. I truly wish they make it, that dreams their dreams come true and stuff, but sadly the best of the best are also not sure of making it large. I am basically trying to convey is that stuff like this happens to all. It’s all a part and parcel of life that we are destined to go through. Such experiences make us stronger and rugged as a person. That’s how we should look at it.
    But yeah, there is no substitute for toiling for two years. No one in the world, except the people sitting around you in the examination hall can help you to take a step ahead. Take notice of the fact that I have not used the word ‘succeed’ here. Dreams will always remain dreams. But I sweetly promise you that all your nightmares will come true! So be prepared for the worst if this paragraph describes your attitude the best.
    I know I have started form one place and kind of drifted away, that’s how I am these days. A little bit of stuck between the devil and the deep sea. All I wish to do in life is to make a sincere contribution towards our understanding of mother nature. And with all your wishes, I should be able to do so, overcoming every hurdle in my path! Yes, I have decided to stay firm on my decision, of exploring the world the way I want to. I’m willing to learn from all my mistakes and better them! Well, I’m willing to do anything to make it up there. Just hope for a fairy-tale ending.
    The main aim of this post was to shout out all the negative thoughts aloud, to get them out from your and my mind. I just hope I was successful in doing so, and even if I was not, I have something in store for you, the readers. Presenting before you, a slightly different and personal take on this topic by my cousin, Shibani Timblo who has happily accepted my request to collaborate with me on my posts. Read on!
Dreams : The Light In The Tunnel Of Survival

     Dreams could be interpreted in innumerable ways such as marvels, aspirations, ambitions, reveries, fantasies. For me here its aspirations as well as ambitions. Looking closely, there is a slight but pivotal difference between the two. Aspirations are the dreams you would want to live wherein satisfaction and pleasure is guaranteed but not other parameters as in the case of ambitions like “the moolah” as we call it. Having them is an integral part of every individual life to, as I said above, have a purpose, that is, a reason to care to survive the big bad world which could crush us but only our dreams can motivate us to fight back.
      Yes, my dreams have overwhelmed me, so much so that my tale of survival is an enormous battle. A battle that wont just reward me survival but will grant me solace, happiness, gratification and victory. Solace with myself, my duties and my peers and the fact that I haven’t let anyone down along with doing justice to myself. The happiness, rapture and euphoria of fulfilment that will be bestowed upon me after a determined fracas put up by me. Being gratified of achieving what I’ve strived for, what I’ve yearned for. And victory being the aggregate of all these sentiments, the ultimate resultant sentiment of all my efforts. My personal favourite quote is Sigmund Freud’s view regarding dreams, ”Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.” Although he meant our fantasies but in this lunatic world, our ambitions too can drive us crazy making our lives more profound.
      No dream, big or small, is insignificant but well can be unrealistic as I myself had a series of outrageous dreams. From modelling to acting to philanthropy ( although I’m still keen on that) to aeronautical engineering (craziest yet) to medicine. Never gave myself a thought about what I was thinking! Never pondered on why I wanted to or whether it was what I really wanted all my life, whether all my efforts towards obtaining degrees in those fields would be meaningful to me. As I matured and began to reflect, I began to understand the complexities of life, that life wasn’t a piece of cake specially where IIT is the primeval temple of study in India that offers almost 7000 seats to the Indian student population adding pressure to the already tensed situation of economically strained demographics of the country. Moreover its become a fashion to join coaching institutions to get into IIT. I too, was a part of the fashion followers, not realizing what I was getting myself into. The hectic schedule of college as well as the coaching classes induced me to plan out my life which helped me be conscious of the fact that it was the need of the hour to set it right for myself. That’s when I started discovering the hidden passions in myself.
     My plan was to combine my aspirations and ambitions together. As soon as my soul-searching began, I realized that my aspirations were my priorities that was to live in an independent life, earning enough to sustain me but also perceived that all my life I had craved to do something good for myself, fight against the atrocities done to women, educate denizens from all walks of life, explore the world, LEARN – thanks to the repulsion caused by the IIT frenzy and HSC method of mugging up. The merriment I had derived from learning made me conclude that research and teaching were the kind of jobs for me. And fortunately, they went hand in hand. That’s where I had won half my battle, my plan was complete, I knew where to be and what to do since I was aware of what I could do the best. Being an avid science, specially biology and chemistry, student I figured biomedical sciences was the course for me. I believe that if one dreams, they should dream big and so I set my target as Stanford, my dream school.
      Now I have a clear road to travelled on, the hard way. But on the brighter note the road less travelled by, where they’ll be obstacles which will make us more resistant to future hitches, experiences that will last as remembrances forever and of course the golden opportunity of standing out, now who wouldn’t want that? That’s the essence of our lives my friends, to make a difference by doing what you love not by struggling. Success and the moolah will not only come easy but also gratification and happiness. Dreams either happen or shatter, but that shouldn’t dissuade us from having them. Dreams should be inspirational, whether they occur or not is immaterial as I have faith in the saying that efforts never fail.

   I do not think that this topic requires a conclusion to be drawn. Our story is a story that is being written and as Shah Rukh Khan said, “Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost!!”. I leave you with a question to ponder upon. Is it a crime to dream big? Or is this a good example of triumph over adversity?

(PS : If you believe in God, please do not burden him with requests to give you a good rank. Sadly, he can’t accommodate all of  the people who pray into the top colleges. So please pray asking for him to give you the power to believe in yourself!)
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Me, Midas Touch by Raj Kunkolienkar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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