Monthly Archives: April 2010

Remember when you were young , you shone like the sun..

About four years back, on the first day of FYJC (11th std) in college ,my English professor told the class about how we should make the most of our youth. She said , when we are young, we are full of dreams.Our eyes have a certain glimmer. We are hopeful about the future and so sure that the world is great just like everybody in it and that things are going to end up just fine. We are joyous and carefree.She also said that by the time we reach our final year in college,the light is gone. We let go of so many of our dreams and don’t believe.  She hoped for us that our light remained.

I hoped so too.

But it didn’t remain.

I’ve wanted to become a journalist ever since I was 11. I knew I would do really well. There wasn’t a hurry to get anywhere. Just sheer belief in my own ability and will power. I was sure my light wouldn’t fade.

And yet ,now barely 4 years down the line,  I have become more cynical than I used to be. I still believe in the awesomeness of the world and the universe , but I have become aware of the bad people and also of the bad in me. My belief system has changed. My opinions. The way I see myself too. My idea of success is in doubt. And now I even question whether it is important to be successful. Atleast if the societal idea of success is important to me. I am a people person and very social , and yet I have become anti- social in a way.  I largely differ with majority of the people I deal with everyday. I resent being conditioned with certain ideas that don’t go with the rest of my new ideas and feel irritated by my inability to break this conditioning.

There have been so many new discoveries and learnings. I am excited and curious about the future. about science. about the learning and knowledge that is yet to come. about the universe.

And yet I know,…Somewhere, the light has dimmed.

And when I read this, I see so many ‘I’ s . And I wonder , who the hell do I think I am? Why do I think I am so important in this universe when I am all but a microsecond in the lifetime of a star millions of light years away. What is life about and where is it heading? Or does it even matter? But of course it matters! That is what keeps us going , right? The frequency if ‘I’s shows such an ego. Who is this ‘I’ that I keep talking about? Have I turned out to be the way I was meant to be? Have I turned out to be like rMU would have been had she not been nurtured by society in any manner? What was I meant to be?  Have I just formed myself to fit how I am described?

There are so many questions. But are they important at all?

Or should we continue with our rants about putting on weight , global warming and  rising prices?

There is one life that I know of and many purposes to it. When there are so many questions and uncertainties  , belief  and hope are important. And though I am the eternal optimist ( I am a thinking one which doesn’t work at all) , the light has somewhere dimmed a little.

And now,

I remember when I was young,
I shone like the sun…

Its not as if I am ancient now .

Nevertheless, there ensues a search for the light again , and some answers too.

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Filed under Me, Thoughts/ Ideas, Why?

ITHAKA

The english department of my college recently released its annual magazine, Ithaka.

The name of the magazine is taken from a wonderful poem by C.P. Cavafy called Ithaka. The poem is truly inspirational and reveals what the real stuff of life is. Just thought everyone should benifit so here it is. 🙂

ITHAKA

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon-don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon-you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind-
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn’t have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

—by Constantine P Cavafy

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Filed under Literature, Poetry, Stuff I like

Chicago

After having had a pretty sad day, I switched on the television hoping for something to cheer me up.

And there it was! Chicago to the rescue! 🙂

Though I attribute the cheering up to the lovely Chocolate Dutch Truffle I had , the movie  was very much an entertainer! A remake of the 1975 Broadway show, Chicago has a constant flow of drama, music and dance.There is never a loose moment in the movie which can be credited to everything from the plot to the performances and the brilliant execution of it.

The story goes like this. Set in Chicago of the 1920s, Velma Kelly (played by Catherine Zeta Jones) is a vaudevillian, that is, someone who is part of a theatrical variety of entertainment. Gaining popularity she is happy until she finds her husband and sister in bed together and kills both of them in a fit of rage.While she is being tried for the murder , another belle fille aspiring to be a part of vaudeville Roxie Hart(Renee Zellweneger) is jailed for murder.Being married to a colourless man Amos she ‘fools around’ with Fred Casely who promises to take her up the ranks in the business.But soon he tells her that he has no contacts and he just used her.Enraged, Roxie shoots Fred and is taken to the same jail as Velma, awaiting hanging.This is what leads to all the drama.

Enter.Billy Flynn(Richard Gere–wow! :D)  who is the only lawyer who can save them from the gallows. The jail’s matron ‘Mama’ Morton arranges for Billy to take Roxie’s case.He projects her as the sweetest murdress that ever was to the media and Chicago loves her!  Enjoying all the popularity that she always wanted Roxie is at the top of the world taking away the limelight from Velma.

Chicago makes for a comical satire on how the truth is often twisted and gladly accepted if served on a glamorous silver platter and also takes a dig at the celebrity hungry media.

The performances of the the three lead actors is brilliant with them doing all the singing and dancing.The choreography never fails to impress especially in numbers like Cell Block Tango where the other women inmates relate their reason for being jailed.The vocals by Catherine Zeta Jones are remarkably strong. A lot of credit should also be given to the the strong potrayal of the characer of Billy Flynn by Richard Gere.

Kudos to Rob Marshall as director  for  delivering such a powerful, lurid,dark yet comic entertainer.The quick pacing, the editing and the entire execution shows great talent.

Chicago is definitely a movie that has it all…crime,comedy,drama,music,dance and All that Jazz!

Must watch!

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Summer Vacation 2010 check list

So!Vacations are here and just two days into it I am already itching to go out and get busy.

So here are a few things I have decided I must do in these vacations.Ok.And putting it up here doesn’t make it binding upon me to check everything off the list.

– Learn to solve the Rubik’s cube

– Polish Marathi skills

– Get a 2 wheeler license and a 4 wheeler one also if possible

– Practice regular Arabic speaking,reading and writing

– English honours African American literature assignment

– Economics XISR credit paper

– Have a blast at the Himalayan trek

http://www.yhaindia.org/files/adv_programs/description/sarpass.

((-intern   OR   -Go for Valsad Social involvement programme camp))

Will add more stuff as it comes to mind.

Toast to an awesome vacation!! 🙂

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exams-the brain-the number-your life.

Exams finally got over yesterday and my Second year BA is officially oh-ver! That is assuming I am passing in all subjects(definitely happening) , not with flying colours though.. but whatever.

I must admit that although we make such a big deal about exams,  arts is definitely not as difficult as an engineering , medical or CA course.Atleast its so until the Second year. I remember ranting to my friend Bing* about how I had to study 110 pages of a pathetic text book for my Foundation Course exam the next day.And in response I got to hear quite a lot of grumbling as he 110 pages in very small font was the size of one chapter in his engineering text book.But again , Foundation Course is not even a real subject.

So yes, arts definitely has made me quite laid back.Photo-copying notes a few days before the exam, not buying the text book at all,  and watching the movie version of a novel one day before the exam(yes , quite a fiasco that one) are all part of my course.

Lately I have been finding my course to be quite irritating.i don’t regret the subjects I chose- economics, english literature and statistics.Infact, I love them.But often I feel strangulated by the fact that I can’t choose my course content, drop and pick subjects as per my wish and do a more wide variety of subjects. For instance, if I could choose subjects from across different streams I would even have selected physics and geology and dance as my subjects. But it is not to be. 😦

Actually, I am even against the idea of exams and One conversation with a very frustrated John Y made me even more critical of the examination system. Leaving out entrance exams, most exams till our college level only test the left side of our brain.I’ll elaborate.The leftt side of the brain is responsible for the analytical, methodical,quantitative and memory skills. While the right side pf the brain performs the functions of feeling, imagining and perceiving.So while some people are adept with their left brain others use their right more.These exams test only the left side of our brain ,leaving the poor right brain users in a sorry state.And the result of the examination is a number which is stamped onto us ,that runs the risk of deciding the trajectory of our entire life.

Instead, we could just have a system in which students could choose their subjects across streams,  drop a subject they dint like and not lose a year, select the course content, lecture timings, choose their own projects and manner of assessment.All this is happening in universities abroad.And although a handful of colleges have made some progress towards creating such student friendly systems, majority of the students are unfortunate.

But the good news is that my generations growing up and hopefully we will bring the change.

By the way, Kapil Sibal , the Indian union HRD Minister seems to be taking a lot of positive steps towards creating this healthy environment for education.So cheers to that!

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