Friday, April 28, 2006

The Cat Story

During summers night is only the good thing to happen. Hostel is miserably hot so during the nights with the fan swinging and a relatively cool breeze blowing outside I can concentrate on my studies well. One such night I was into my books, basically into a theorem. Most of my time I invest on doing out of the course stuff. A lot many tries to prove it my way had already gone unsuccessful. And just when I thought I was somewhere near (just about to be an Edison who invented an electric bulb after 17 failures) I heard a commotion in my corridor. My concentration was broken and the proof left forever there (had Edison been disturbed possibly we still would have been in darkness)... That is why possibly Mathematicians and scientists preferred to live in seclusion (I am saying as if I am some Ramanujan in the making. Oh thinking of Ramanujan I am really excited about the upcoming movie by Dev Benegal and Stephen Fry on the friendship of Ramanujan and Hardy). Still I have all the rights to complain however little my invention might be.

I went out of my room. In a hostel corridor-mates are supposed to be the dukh-sukh ke saathi so as a responsible corridor-mate I had to pry into the matter and step into the room of a girl two rooms away from my room. She had already accumulated a crowd and the gate bhaiyaji who was our ang-rakshak for the night was also on the spot. On enquiring I came to know that a cat has given birth to three kittens, two in her wardrobe and one in the box attached with the bed. That she keeps her room very messy was now known to all. The mother had abandoned the kittens, something that is very unlikely for the species to do that I came to know from the well-informed. Bhaiyaji took them out and put them in the box and left them out in the balcony. My hostel has lots of cats disconcerting us so the thought of three more was very frightful for my mates. All these didn't bother me the least but yes it was bothering a Cat-lover I know.

The Cat-lover friend of mine is Taam, that's how I call her, others call her the Vietnamese sister or simply sister. She is exactly double my age but we both gel along very well. I am the only person she feels comfortable to talk to. Two years back during the initial days it used to be an ordeal for me to understand her accent but now I am used to. She is in India to do her PhD in Indian Philosophy. She is a nun. She had once told me why she took it up but let me not go into that. Taam was pained by all that was happening and somehow seeing her bothered about the well being of the kittens I too wanted to help her. In the scorching sun those three kittens exposed to heat, one died of dehydration and other two were struggling. Taam carefully took them out of the box, buried the dead one in the hostel backyard and took the other two through her room to her balcony, later on she got them to her room. She managed to persuade their mother also to accept the babies and feed them. She informed me that of the two the darker and more fragile one was the female and the other a male.

Now nobody except for me knows that the two kittens are growing up under the strict vigilance of Taam, myself being the occasional visitor. We four play in Taam's room sometimes. It seems so complete, the otherwise dry life seems to brim with happiness. Taam has got medicines to cure the kittens from the lots of fleas that they have caught. I give them my share of butter to eat.

I was never averse to pets, but am a naive. The feelings I have developed for the kittens and the mother cat is a nice experience for me. I don't mind that my theorem remained unproved coz of hullabaloo the kitten birth caused as my birth too must have spoilt the peaceful mid-night sleep of the suffering mortals in the hospital, and if it's there then it will surely come up again on some pleasant night. I now just want to play with them in the corridor and not in the confines of Taam's room. I want to make them socially acceptable. Any ideas?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Partitioning

Can't we just partition our brain into two parts- one emotional and the other practical? Why is it that decisions taken in the emotional brain effect the normal functioning of the practical brain that has to deal with the real life problems? The emotional brian is imaginative, the practical one is worldly. The emotional is personal, the practical is professional. I want that whatever happens in my personal life should effect the least to my professional life. Can't there be a wall between the two so that the deeds of one do not affect the other?

I want that I should be able to give in my hundred percent to my profession independent of my personal turmoil. Why does it seem to be that difficult? Is it at all that difficult? Can't I be that matured and wise to tackle both of them without hampering any of them?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

My worries

This is to bring to fore my recent concerns regarding the present day scenario of the society. My worries.

I am worried about the LDF again winning the West Bengal Assembly elections with a majority. Not that I am against the Left regime, in fact I really appreciate the governance and the policies of the Leftist government there but then I am always in favor of a change so would have appreciated had there been a strong alternative to the Bampanthi Sarkar in power since 1977.

I am worried about Narmada Bachao Andolan Leader Medha Patkar. Today is her seventeenth day of fast and her health has been deteriorating. Personally I am not quite in favor of this mode of protest as I do feel in our constitutional and democratic form of governance we have other effective measures to make ourselves heard but I really feel proud to have a fellow countryman as determined as her to fight for a social cause.

I am worried about the recent attack at Jama Masjid. No casualties reported so far but then the attack seems to me to be an attack to dismantle the peaceful co-existence of Hindus and Muslims. The aim is to bring about a communal disharmony in the society by attacking the religious places of both Hindus (The Benaras mishap) and Muslims (The Jama Masjid bomb blasts). Actually to me it seems to be the design of few mentally sick minds who need urgent psychological pampering more than jehadi commotion.

I am worried about the reservation for OBC’s in educational institutions including IITs and IIMs. Not that I am against the welfare of this socially challenged sect but I do feel that merit should be that sole criterion to reach to a high level as this. I can’t think of a situation of being treated by a doctor who managed to get the degree because of favors but does not have the adequate knowledge to tackle the disease. Dreadful!

I am worried about the confusions going on in the selection of the Indian cricket team for the World Cup. With Sehwag and Kaif not playing well at the moment but still being kept in the team, I am only wondering that why is it so that Sourav Ganguly is not given a chance to be back in the Indian team after performing consistently so well at the domestic level? A man with more than 10000 ODI runs and other credentials defy my logic to be disqualified.

I am worried about a lot more things: the nasty violence in Bangalore due to the death of the veteran actor and an icon Dr. Rajkumar, the growing water problem in the country and the Naxalite menace in the Eastern and the North Eastern states. Its high time that something is done to find out solutions to my worries and writing them down and making you all aware of them was my first step towards it. Jai Hind!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

An unusual day

All of you there must know this, a very eventful day in my life. I had always wanted to witness such high on drama stuff but never really got any chance to do. But today was a different day. First a little bit of a recap.

As all the regular readers of my blog must have come to know by now that my exams are going on. And as I am a very poor mugger, so it's not really my cup of tea to score marks at the post grads level, as what is basically asked in the examination are three to four page long proofs of theorems which need to crammed to be presented in the same manner. I always end up giving new proofs to the theorems being asked and since the examiners are very particular about the proofs being from their notes only, so I end up scoring just mediocre marks. Initially it used to bother me, bother me big time. But then I tried to self-introspect and I found that it's okay. These exams are not a test of my intelligence but a test of my endurance. So I have started taking them in my stride. Unfazed about the marks I will score , I just aim at clearing my concepts and face every examination by giving my 'on the spot' proofs for them. Today was no exception. I had just prepared the basic definitions and a few theorems. When I got the question paper, hell broke on me when I realized that even the few theorems that I had done were not asked. So that means the whole paper had to be answered with my manufactured proofs. But I was mentally prepared so did not take me long to swallow the lump of pain and embarrassment.

But to my sheer surprise and relief, just when I had directed my brain for the proof construction work, I heard a commotion in the class. My class consists of a strength of almost 70 students with only 5 to 6 male students (mostly effeminate). So now suddenly the whole examination room was full with the shrill and high-pitched female voices. On inquiring what is wrong with everybody as I was oblivion to what was happening around, I came to know that the whole paper is out of course. Oh is it? I didn't even realize that. Now you can very well imagine what was my level of preparation. But I knew that I can attend the paper as I had the shield of writing on my own and was no more bothered that I won't be awarded marks for my innovation. But who cared, least did I, but others did. They had been struggling during the last 5 days preparation leave for the paper to cram the entire bundle of notes that is getting passed through generations. And good for me that it mattered them.

The girls were bold, pretty bold I must say. I was quiet much because as I had not studied at all for the paper and was for ready for just anything. But I wanted to go by the majority, infact not even a majority, the whole class was united, so I wanted to go by unity. Everybody got up from their seats and were near the gate to walk out but they weren't allowed to move out. Our Head of the Department(HOD) came in rusing. He was made to hear comments he would not have even imagined. I was amazed to see the level of guts in my fellow mates. One smart female took the responsilbilty to present the case. Here is how it goes:

HOD: What the hell is it going on here? Do you even realize that it's an examination and a decorum should be maintained. Just behave yourself and stop shouting. All of you go back to your seats. I will expel you all otherwise.

Girl: Sir, you the seniormost teacher in the department and we all have a lot of respect for you. But we are already in such a great trauma and instead of listening to our woes you are scolding us and threatening us. Enough is enough and we won't resect you if you did so ( She just missed that gone are the days when the teacher used to do anything to keep his respect untainted, anyways at least she said something).

HOD: So what is it that you want? I cannot call-off the examination. You have to take it, so just write what all you know.

Girl: We do not know anything in the paper and we want that you call our subject teacher. We can prove that the whole question paper is untaught to us.

HOD: The teacher has already been informed and he will be here in an hour.

He leaves the room.

In the meanwhile the smarter few are trying to coax the cowards like me to take a stand and stage a walk out, though I was not thoroughly convinced that it is going to work, still respecting unity I got up from my seat.

Suddenly the HOD enters again with the teacher (with sleepy eyes and disheveled hair, as if he is some Einstein who has been interrupted in his invention).

Girls in unison: Sir, what is it? We have not done anything that is being asked in the paper. You need to do something.

Teacher: Oh the paper seems to ask questions which I had planned to do in the last ten days but could not do as nobody turned up.

Girls: But that is not our fault. We don't know, it's not in our course.

One very smart girl: Sir, just tell us one thing, how many in the question paper can you answer?

We all clapped and hooted at the gutsy question as we all were unsure about his intellects.

Teacher exits, embarrassed.

HOD: Okay, see this way nothing is going to happen, what I will suggest you is that just write the paper with all that you can do. And after the paper, stage a demonstration and I assure you with all my integrity that actions will be taken that will be beneficial for all of you. It's a gentleman's promise.

Girls began settling back to their seats. I was already settled. Everybody started writing and soon the atmosphere was all silent, the silence that follows a riot.

After the examination got over, an application was signed by some 250 odd students of Masters in my University demanding a re-examination or a lenient checking for the paper.

I hope that some action is taken though I have full doubts on my HOD keeping the gentleman's promise... shhhhhh.... Let us just wait and watch!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Kaun Kehta hain...



Kaun Kehta hain ki hum pyar nahi karte?
woh baat aur hai ki hum izhaar nahi karte,
woh pyar hi kya jo shabdo mein bayaan ho sake...
use dayero mein bandhne ki hum khata nahi karte
Kaun Kehta hain ki hum pyar nahi karte?

Pyar bhari hum mithi-mithi batein nahi karte,
unki bahon mein bahein hum daala nahi karte,
woh hamari khamoshi ko gar samajh na sake...
to thope hue pyar par hum vishwaas nahi karte
Kaun Kehta hain ki hum pyar nahi karte?

Unki pareshaaniyon mein hum ek pal chaien nahi karte,
saath jeene-marne ke hum mushkil vayede nahi karte,
woh isme hamari majboori ko gar samajh na sake...
phir hum virah mein jalte hain, mila nahi karte
Kaun Kehta hain ki hum pyar nahi karte?

Ek doosre ko jaane bina hum pyar nahi karte,
aur ek baar jaan liya to dobara vichaar nahi karte,
woh itne samay mein hume gar samajh na sake...
sharto ke adhaar par hum pyar ka vyapaar nahi karte
Kaun Kehta hain ki hum pyar nahi karte?