Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Last two-three weeks, I have been putting lot of hard work to do certain things, that I am not sure whether I should be doing, and do not have enough clarity about them. Then, today I came across this quote.
"Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim" - George Santanaya.
I wonder if it applies to me in my current situation. To some extent, it definitely seems so. I mean whatever I am doing definitely contributes to some shallow aim, which in conventional world are very important ones, but does it really contribute to what I want to do from my heart? I don't know, my senses are dead. After visiting my parents on the weekend, my mom mentioned that my approach to working was so much unlike me, not giving enough time to myself to recover or refresh my brain.

The funny thing is I still don't know what to do, whether to keep playing the game which I will lose with 90% probability (assuming this is perhaps the final hurdle and if I cross it I will win the game) or to start a new game?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

'When was the last time you did something for the first time' goes the tag line for an advertise of a particular movie series on a movie channel. What a lovely line it is. Really, how boring we make our lives as we grow up. We go to the same damn place to work, we go to same restaurants, we always eat same kind of food and so on. As we grow up, we become more and more afraid of trying something new. Most people spend their entire life without really understanding what is that they enjoy doing the most. The place where I work is so personified by this attitude of 'afraid to change' that everyone is just stuck to their work they have been doing from years, the routine they are having from years. Sometimes, I wonder whether my insistence of putting a logical completion to my earlier work is really my need or am I also afraid to change? At least at this moment, I think it is my need and hope it never becomes fear to change something in my life.
I think at some level most people are not really afraid of trying new things. It is just that in today's world (or for that matter as much as we can see back in the history) we average people have made our life so miserable, so much constrained by conventions, social rules, etc. that once we reach adulthood we are supposed settle into routine for rest of our life or at least till we retire from so called work. We are afraid that our work (rather a beaten path called career) will suffer or family will suffer or health will suffer or what will people say, etc.
In a way I like, the way people in some European countries and countries like Japan, work for 11 months without taking any extra holidays and the go for a vacation for a fortnight or a month. Of course, most of them visit different place as tourists. Although it is nice to visit different places (especially it is nice to relax in naturally beautiful places), countries or cultures, tourism also becomes a kind of routine after some time. One can learn a lot through travel but for that going as a tourist, staying in a hotel, visit museums or some nature related points, take photos and come back is not really good idea. If you spend just one month in a different country or a culture interacting with people there and understanding their culture, you will perhaps learn more about life than your entire schooling may have taught you. You will realize how many stupid assumptions we make about life, about how we should behave, about what is good for us and what is bad for us, how many things we think are sacrosanct and then see those things have no value in other culture and it does not really make any difference or sometimes even betters your life.
Well, all these things apart I think it is nice to have one month off in a year, where you can get away from routine and have a nice recreational period, when you can be like small children with curiosity in eyes and itching to understand, try and experiment with new things. Ideally, entire life should be like that, But, why not start with one month? Well, can I do it? Hmm....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Have you ever imagined, how difficult it can be to take a good photo of the moon in the night without having a 'lovely big zoom camera with freedom to choose many manual settings' and a tripod. Yesterday was pournima and probably better day for taking photo but I tried to take one today. Why? I don't know, I just went into the balcony, because it is very pleasant outside with little cool breeze due ti drizzle we had in the evening. I just had a look up and thought well I got to take photo, how often have I tried to take a good photo of the moon which I see daily. So, I took out my camera after almost 4-5 months and tried. First few photos, with auto mode could not capture anything except a white dot in the middle of plain black background and for the first time I started missing having a nice SLR or digital SLR camera with good zoom lens. Of course, the failure to capture a good image must be more of my lack of photography skills but what the heck, machines can always be considered inadequate, can't they? So, I went into manual mode, disabled flash, increased exposure, tried higher ISO settings and long shutter times, but to my dismay my hands are not steady enough to capture a good image for long shutter times and increased exposure only change whit dot to very bight white dot. Finally, the best image I could capture is the one uploaded here. That too, it looks better because of some small clods surrounding the moon. Well, sometimes simple things are very difficult to get or capture.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nowadays, writing has become such an arduous task for me that it doesn't just happen. It is as if, somebody has sucked up all the mental energy needed for writing. I can react to people's writing through my writing but I don't feel like writing something on my own. Although most of posts are not really great, some of them do have good thoughts. Writing has never been my strength but sometime 5-6 years back, I found that it gives me some me some satisfaction. The funniest thing is that almost daily there is at least one thing I feel I should write something about, but I just can't get to my keyboard and start writing. And, if I sit to write, after two-three sentences suddenly all my thoughts dry up. All that chain of thoughts gets lost somewhere.
Well, this is not only happening to writing but almost everything I am doing nowadays. I wonder what are those things in our brains that help us going from just thinking to doing. I really need to fire them up. Or, may be convert some thinking energy to doing energy, can somebody invent such a transducer? It will be really useful for me, as I think too much. Well, sometimes even if you energy to do something, you still don't fill like doing it. You can hear a lot of lectures on how to get rid of procrastination but until the reason why you procrastinate is removed (assuming that reason is not just being lazy), nothing really is going to improve the situation.
Well, tomorrow I have to meet somebody who is going to question me, why I am not working. I feel like vanishing somewhere.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Great Dictator - Last speech

Chanced upon this wonderful movie by Charlie Chaplin while surfing channel on the TV. This was his first talking movie, satire on Nazism and typical lovely Chaplin movie. At the end of movie jewish barber played by Chaplin who is mistaken as Adenoid Hynkel gives a speech. We may not have dictators like Hitler any more, but most of the speech still pretty much valid for today.

I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite! Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up Hannah! The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through! We are coming out of the darkness into the light! We are coming into a new world; a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed, and brutality. Look up, Hannah! The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow! Into the light of hope, into the future! The glorious future, that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up, Hannah. Look up!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Long time, since I wrote. Why did I not write (asking myself)? Well, I did not feel like. Sometimes, in your life it becomes very difficult to sit and write something nice. When I started writing on blogs, for long time I hardly wrote and then I sometimes wrote about frustrations and some time about very random topics. Not that, I am trying to put my history of blogging here. I still observe a lot and feel like writing on lot of subjects but somehow the things are not coming together.
Overall, it has been a quite an unusual day today. For some reason I have been really relaxed today, to the extent that for some time I felt like, I don't have any work to do. All my work is done and of course as a result I was also feeling a bit bored. But, from last two days I think if there is one thing to learn that is people can really surprise you. Someone, I never expected will invite me for dinner, invited me for dinner; someone I thought generally is not very inclined to give feedback gave me a very nice and clear feedback on one of my ideas; and someone else who I always used to think is above some bad things in professional life seems to be stuck in those very bad things. All that I can see, is some difference of circumstance. The first someone, has probably come to accept the fact that however ever these guys may be (me and my colleagues), they are here working with me and some relaxed informal interaction may be nice. The second someone is looking relaxed since last two three weeks, may be some end of trouble for that person and that has changed that persons professional interactions very positively. While the third someone, seems to be changing from the moment, that person felt some threat to his reputation and his understanding of himself. I think it just highlights the fact that you might never understand a person without really taking his circumstances at present into account. It is always worth giving a chance if the circumstances are changing. I wonder how many people do I understand as they are their natural self, rather than the way they are in some forced situation. Of course, it is impossible a task. I think it is well known that forget about understanding someone else, we often do not even understand ourselves.
I guess this is enough for today's rambling.