Monday, April 30, 2007

Over a cup of cold coffee

Summer is here to stay in Mumbai and most of the student community is busy with its vacation plans. Most of my non-engineering friends have already completed their graduation examinations & are raring to break free in the much awaited vacations; following which their colleges would never ever reopen again !!

But for all my engineering friends and I, vacations are a distant dream. Our plans for this summer?.......what else but to dig our summer-baked heads into those heavy-weight engineering books. That's because we are not as blessed as our non-engineering counterparts. Now for those who are not acquainted with Mumbai University engineering, here's a fact file - the semester usually is of 5 months; 3 months of lectures (and 'extra-curricular' activities) & almost 2 months of examinations (including vivas, practicals and a teeny-weeny preparatory leave).

Now enough of grievances and back to the point. Simply put, its a long haul for us. But then its an experience which we would cherish when we will look back after becoming engineers. The clock ticks relentlessly & time flies at apparently supersonic velocity. At the end of the day, we realize that only a single chapter was studied during the entire day. So now, the obvious necessity for us is to burn the midnight oil.

Its said that "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise". But that hardly applies in our context. If we were to follow that, we would be in a soup. As far as studying at night is concerned, its something most of us are habituated with. The studies have gradually turned us into insomniacs.

So now, the night session of my studies commences. After relaxing a bit after dinner, its back to the desk again. As the clock approaches midnight, the silence of the night makes me feel isolated (though books keep me company !!) & then I turn on the music, usually instrumentals like Kenny G or Enigma, so that I don't get distracted by lyrics. And then, like a cherry on the cake, to create a perfect 'ambience' for studies, there's a refreshing cup of cold coffee kept ready by mom. Sipping slowly on it, I make sure that the coffee experience lasts about an hour, before its finally time to catch up some required quota of sleep. What a way to end the day's studies.... over a cup of cold coffee enriched with a dash of mom's love and care!!


Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Namesake - A review

Last Sunday evening, I had gone to watch Mira Nair's movie, The Namesake. I had heard very good reviews about the movie & I was very eager to watch this movie. The movie is adapted from a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri by the same name.
The storyline revolves around the life of a Bengali family; Ashoke Ganguli (Irrfan Khan), Ashima Ganguli (Tabu) & their son Gogol (Kal Penn) and his sister, who live in the US. Gogol who is born & brought up in the 'land of opportunities' is discontented with his strange name that had become a subject of mockery. He feels desocialized & is perplexed as to what made his father name him after his favourite Russian author Nicholai Gogol. One day Ashoke tells Gogol the story behind his name; revealing the conversations with a co-passenger in the train he was travelling in, before it met with an accident. At that time Ashoke was a college-going lad & was reading Nicholai Gogol during his journey.
A few days after this revelation, Ashoke dies of a sudden heart attack & Gogol soon starts realizing how great his father was & how he had failed to understand him. The quest for discovering his father makes him realize his roots & the journey of life brings him home.
The movie sets its own pace & is never unduly stretched at any point. The characters & the ambience is treated in a simple fashion & absolutely no glamorous scenes are included; which in fact appeals to the viewer & binds him with the characters. Irrfan and Tabu set their own standards & exhibit multifaceted acts. Irrfan depicts the most intricate scenes with utmost ease & sheer simplicity. And Tabu asserts being a top-notch actress, handling all the finer nuances of her role with great maturity of acting.
My verdict: the movie is a very good one to watch with your family & would definitely appeal to you if you are the one who enjoys offbeat cinemas. So friends, go ahead and watch this masterpiece.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Relativity: The way I look at it

"Albert Einstein". Thats the name that immediately strikes your mind when you hear the word 'Relativity'. People from world of physics know him for many of his theories, equations, relations that are still a matter of deep interest to many. But I think the most popular among the multitude of his theories ought to be the theory of relativity.

My acquaintance with Relativity was a rather simple statement, "If you sit with your loved one, an hour seems like a minute; but when you are with someone whom you don't like, a minute seems like an hour". Well, at first, it didn't quite appear like a theory propounded by a physicist. I wondered how this fitted into the jigsaw puzzle called physics - its physical viewpoint. Frankly, I never treaded deeply into this theory, but it surely gave me a new dimension to look at it.

Relativity, as I see it is much to do with human nature than with the complexities of physics. Human thoughts, relations, behaviour all follow this theory. Everything in this world is subjective, rather; relative. Success is relative, happiness is relative, freedom is relative; even contentment is relative. I think the very concept of an 'individual' or 'individuality' stems up from roots of Relativity. Our perception of material or immaterial things is dependent on our
own parameters or viewpoint on the matter concerned. If you ask any other 'individual' his or her take on the matter, it will always be relative to personal interpretation. And that's what makes us realize the true meaning of the word 'an individual'. You cannot have a comparison between any two persons, for the simple reason that there can be no comparison among individuals, which in turn symbolizes uniqueness. And that's because of the nature of their Relativities.

Sure enough, you cannot expect to have something called as 'degree of relativity' so that you have a yardstick for measuring Relativity. That's because assigning a degree to something needs a 'reference'. And 'reference' too, is Relative !!

So what do I conclude at the end of it? Well, the manifold hues of life; thoughts, experiences, notions, beliefs add a dash of variety to our monotonous lifestyle. The nonuniformities we see around and which enhance and expand our outlook of the world exist thanks to differences in Relativity.

And yes....'conclusion' can also be Relative !!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A 'literal' confusion

Please help me out with this confusion...

Everyone has friends. And friends can be of many types; just friends, good friends, close friends and.... best friends. Now, some or the other time when I have spoken or chatted with my friends ( I mean to say friends in general; not any specific type ), the topic of discussion has touched a term called as 'best friends'.

"I have 5 best friends", "I made 7 best friends in school"... are some of the statements that make me smile sarcastically. Well, being a guy who loves words and respects their worth and meaning (and I am not being rude to my friends who are reading this), I am very adamant when it comes to proper usage of words. Well from whatever english I have learnt all these years, 'best' is a superlative degree; that means its the highest degree. And it goes without saying that whatever is at the peak, or the highest form ought to be unique. And if it is unique, it surely must be a singularly unique entity.. For example, 'Mount Everest is the "highest" mountain peak in the world'.

By this analogy, a 'best friend' should be one and only one friend. How come there can be multiple "best friends"? Thats what my confusion is.... why this paradox of 'many best friends'?

Please help me out of this..