Thursday, October 27, 2005

Literary musings...the Indian kind

Fantasy has never appealed to me greatly, especially all the LOTR's and HARRY POTTER's however engrossing and great they may be. I have always liked reading stuff which is closer to reality, because you can relate to the characters pretty well (atleast for me). Although there may be exceptions, i've never really taken a liking to fantasiacal characters.

Coming to the point, I'm presently reading literary works by Indian authors and I've found it engrossing. "A suitable boy" by Vikram Seth has been a pretty good experience (till now). Considering the mammoth size of the book, I would be able to fit in another couple of novels in there. Am also reading Rohinton Mistry's "Family matters" and it has also been a wonderful experience. I wouldn't want to ruin the experience of the readers by quoting the story here, but I can say that they are well worth a read.

I feel I 'll become an Indian literary aficionado soon. Looking forward to read...

Untouchable - Late Mulk Raj Anand
Coolie - Late Mulk Raj Anand

Friday, October 21, 2005

Guts to live up to yourself...everything else is hypocrisy

I was just going through a blog written by a friend of mine. I was thinking on the same lines, and they have been plaguing me since a long time. It's about what I am presently doing in life, and does it makes sense to do it. These thoughts occured to me while I was talking to my brother. He asked me not be hasty in committing to a PhD. He was telling me about all the stuff regarding people getting bored with research during their years as a Doctoral student. I was quite dumbfounded by that comment of his. It dawned upon me that I have never thought about that. My ultimate aim in life is to do research, and if I were to get bored with that what would I be left with, an empty shell. Earning money in a big firm, yeah that life would be so much better for many (not for me though). I would be lost in the crowd. It finally boils down to doing what you really love and go about it as strongly as you can. "If you fear it's going to cost you dear".

Another thing that I found illogical in here is people asking me as to why I quit my job and come here (I think some of my friends back in India were so much more sensible). Well, people, what the fuck? Why does it always have to be about money? Why can't I be, for one moment, selfish enough to do what I think and love?

All these things piss me off so bad. Well, has been great till now and satisfying. It has given me a sense of intellectual freedom and time on my hands to do what I want. I hope to do well and by the time it's over I hope to have the GUTS to look at myself in the mirror.

It's not about the PhD, neither about the industry, it's just about doing what you ought to.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

OPsessed with OPeth

Tasted the Blackwaters of Opeth during the final year of my undergrad studies in India. It was the most amazing kind of music I had ever come across. Am savouring the sweet taste still and am asking for more. Had my internet set up this week and the first thing I did was download songs by Opeth (will buy the cd's when I earn enough!!). Listening to "BlackWater Park", "Drapery Falls", "Bleak", "Deliverance".. (to name a few), sent my mind spiralling and over the top (again). Needed nothing else to get on a high. Akerfeldt is a GOD (General Operations Director..ha..ha), and so are his comrades. The extreme form of music with the melodious interludes (especially the acoustic guitar sections) and the haunting atmosphere make it all the more interesting. Don't know whether they'll keep on making this form of music, or sell out like f**king Metallica, but I am keeping the faith.

Want to end with some memorable lines from the Master's themselves (for their apprentices)

It is the year of death
Wielding his instruments
Stealth sovereign reaper
Touching us with ease
Infecting the roots in an instant
Burning crop of disease
I am just a spectator
An advocate documenting the loss
Fluttering with conceit
- OPETH, album "Blackwater Park", song "Blackwater Park"

it always burns within
the downward spiral never ends
when driven into sin
your salvation's found in a sinner's deed
the devil guides the day
tells me what to say
pours himself inside
and snuffs the final light
- OPETH, album "Deliverance", song "Deliverance"

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Pleasure of finding Feynman

I accidentally stumbled upon a book by the Great Richard Feynman titled "The pleasure of finding things out" (although it was recommeded to me by a friend of mine a long time back). Anyways, I can say without the slightest doubt that it was my pleasure of reading such a book. It simply amazes me as to how can a single person hold such an immense quanta of knowledge as to have done something extraordinary in every field of science. His view on life is what inspires me the most. Although it is true that every person has his own perspective towards life, but his outlook is so simple, straightforward and "in the face". From, "the beauty of a flower" to "the atom bomb", to "the epaulettes and pope". Of special importance were, his view on "winning the Nobel Prize". It's like "I don't give a shit, just let me be and let me do my physics". What else can you ask for in life? You are peace with yourself. After reading that, for once I really wanted to be selfish.
I know for sure that this book and others by him will have lasting impression on my mind.

Another book that I read was "Feynman's lectures on computation", which although not as critically acclaimed as his "Lectures on Physics", is very interesting and didactic. The book exudes basic concepts of computing like Turing machines, semiconductors, quantum computation. Although the concepts are pretty simple, what is of utmost importance are his views at looking at the problems. I thought that the analogy of the Gas Equation to the concepts of information theory and coding, was plain brilliant and who could have done it better than Feynman himself.

Feynman has rekindled my interest in physics (although I think i've never lost interest, but am saying just for emphasis), and I'm afraid i'll be reading physics instead my course and research work and I hope this feeling stays with me for sometime to come.

"I don't have to be good, because they think I have to be good" - Feynman

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Interesting Animation

Watched the movie, "Corpse Bride". Although the storyline was very simple, I loved the characters in the movie, especially the character whose voice was given by Johnny Depp (he's THE best). I loved it so much that I watched "Pirates of the Carribean" (for the 3rd time, i guess). I simply adore Keira Knightley (she's is stunnigly beautiful). Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow is damn good. I have no words to describe his performance.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Enlighten me!!

I feel immense pride in hearing about some non-existent person, giving a helping hand in our time of need (or do I??). Come to think of it, it has always been that way. The statistics would have been reverse, if it were not so. Millions of poeple starve out here, but still we want to believe in some storyteller that yes, India is progressing. We want to diverge from the truth as feel we feel insecure about the same.

Yeah, people of India are so dumb that we need some Krantiveer to make us realize how messed up our state of affairs are. It's not the realization that matters, we don't have the f***ing balls to do anything about it.

Anyways, americans have never had very good diplomatic relations with India, except for on paper. It may be the same as during Nixon's time (i guess he called Indira Gandhi, "an Old Witch"). Same may be applicable today, just the names and dates have changed, who knows??

As I write this, I remember the song...

I was told the pain and hunger was not my fault
How could they be so wrong?
And man, of all five billion people you're only one
Believed them for far too long!
Clean hands
My land is my home

I'm inside the big machine and it's eating me!
And I am just a wheel in motion, too blind to see
The way we are heading now

-Pain of Salvation, album "One hour by the concrete lake", song "Inside"