October 24, 2005

A glimpse of heaven, and then again..the shadows of darkness

I am still not over the enthralling culfest mood that was hanging all around the campus for the last 3 days and it gives me (and the others here too I am sure) great pain to watch the tents and all being taken out and the campus going back to its meagre greenery and heavy air of acads. But well, that's where I am gonna be for another 1 and a half year or so.

The culfest would have been much better had we not had any assignments due (that too on the last day of the culfest : ).
Now, I had this real neat SLR camera with a 4:1 zoom lens and boy !! did I have fun sniping the targets and injuring them with my 4-pencil_batteries_strong flash :))

Somehow, its nice fun to just sit back with your friends and enjoy the exciting atmosphere that builds up in the campus during these fest days and the best part is, its at its peak at around 12 midnight.
Damn, night-life in hostels is something that non-hostlers know nothing about and its one thing that one must experience for sure. And the night life gets so much better during the culfest days. It feels so "empty" now that its all over :(

Its the last day that really brings you down becoz of two reasons:
(1) The continual exhaustion and lack of proper sleep coz of over-involvement in the excitement of the fest.
(2) The pain of "the end" of the fest and the gloomy thoughts of the days to come.

But somehow, it feels like "back again" when its all over. You get that feeling of "I'm home !!" when its all over and after you have had a good long sleep (I pity the ppl who have their exams this week :).

The fashion show was something good and I managed to miss it last year so I was really hoping to catch on with it this time and boy, the sights that you manage to see sitting right up there in the third row is just something else !! ;)

Its just the crowd all around and the lack of academic air that changes the entire mood and refreshes u up real nicely.
God, they should have more of these fests. Real nice things they are.

And now, well, an assignment that I just submitted yesterday night, an assignment that was announced today, an assignment due this wednesday, another due the day after that, and two new assignments waiting to spring up during the week. Well, I am back :)

October 22, 2005

The ANSWER to almost all queries !!

Sometimes u just have to believe that things can't be coincidental. There has got to be something beyond just probability and all that maths.
I was in quite many thoughts in the past weeks about how I shud approach the rest of my acad life. I was starting to lose interest in "scoring" grades. The fun of learning something nice and new and the enthu of problem-solving will not leave me that easily so I know for sure I will never be careless, but the problem of whether I should push beyond what I feel is the limit ?

Lemme rephrase that.
There is almost no fool-proof way of saying what one's limits are. In my context I was talking about limits in the sense of working hard. That is, working beyond your present level.
The brain always pushes you to newer and newer limits and as u keep approaching these limits u feel good coz u feel that u have so much more left in you, u feel "superior". But its not all that simple. Ur heart cries out for u to stop, relax, and never do that again.
The classic problem of life: Brain vs Heart.
Who should win.
Simple answer: YOU !!
u c, when u push yourself beyond a certain level, u'll go "snap". That's right. You'll just snap.
It happens in both extremes u know.
I always knew that if u don't work at all, u r gonna be doomed, so i never even tried that lower limit.
It was the upper limit that I was always uncertain of. I never saw any problems in working beyond what u can, until now.
There's this little thing called "health". And believe me, when u r not at peace with urself, ur hurting urself in ways that u are not even aware of !!
U are building up that resentment and that feeling of "I want to break free" in u for too long.
So, whats gonna happen. BOOM !!

U c, when u start hurting urself too much, nature comes in and tries to warn u by trying to make u feel uncomfortable. That's wen u shud realize and stop, relax and think abt it.
Infact, its always good to stop if u r heart is not into it.
No use trying to fight wid urself u know. Just doesn't help.

I know I am not doing a very good job today at blogging but I hope my message is slightly clear atleast.

October 15, 2005

Soul Searching

I know its been a long time. But I think I will start blogging weekly soon. Back in enthu u c :)

So, what's up with me ? 3rd year is up. That's all there has been for quite a while.
Actually, I would be lying if I said that. I believe its only an excuse to say u have been busy.
It is human nature to exaggerate things, but yes, this year has been relatively pretty heavy.
But I still find time to see movies and all. That can't stop, can it ?
I mean, there are a few things that are "you" . So, unless you are totally in love with acads and it just fascinates you to the core (look out if you have these symptoms !!), you will always take time out for yourself. Actually all that time spent in cribbing about the sem can be put to a better use by watching a movir or something (based on ur interest).

The thing is, you really shouldn't cry abt the way things have turned up in the sem or so.
I mean, its you after all. I don't think a sem can change you. Yes, you'll b a lot busier, but that's about it. You still have time, if you can use it that is.
I can hear you guys not agreeing with me, but seriously, its just human nature to crib abt things.
Just take some time off and relax. Its not all that bad.

Well, I have seen some 25-30 movies this sem I guess (yeah, its not a lot, believe me).
I will see if I can list em, oh and yeah, I will put up movie reviews soon on my webpage, so look out for that.
In no particular order:-
Groundhog Day (gooood comedy), Vanilla Sky (Cameron rocks !!, but so does Penelope Cruz. Forgive me Cameron :-P ), 12 angry men (ek ruka hua faisla, I didn't see it, so this one was pretty nice), Alfred Hitchcock's Rope and Strangers On a Train and Rear Window (this guy rocks in the Thriller/Film-Noir section), Spirited Away (boring, so had to ffwd it), Whispers Of the Heart (a beautiful romantic animation movie, just hits u there), Cold Mountain (Nicole Kidman's blue blue eyes and damn cold Jude Law, good movie), Cindrella Man (awesome awesome movie, among the best listed here), Donnie Brasco (Al Pacino and mafia, need I say more), A Perfect World (costner's best), Salaam Namaste (in theatre), My Wife's Murder (in theatre), No Entry (in theatre), Yahaan (ok-ok), Maqbool (awesome performances by Irfan Khan, Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri and Naseruddin Shah and of course, Tabu), Seher (Arshad Warsi and Pankaj Kapoor dazzle in this cops and robbers flick), American Pie 2 (u know abt it), Titanic (yes, I never saw it completely before. God, this movie had me in tears in the final sequence), Taeguki a.k.a. Brotherhood Of War (one of the best war movies, damn i cried in this one too), Miller's crossing (great mafia movie and No, I didn't cry in this one :) ), and lots more that I have already written in my previous post.
God, I do see lots of movies :D

Just finished watching 70 episodes of the anime Rurouni Kenshin (Japanese sword-fighting Samurai style) and it really is awesome.

Revamped my homepage (looks pretty sober now) and didn't do much on the writing side except completing a pretty neat poem which is kept at my webpage.

Now, coming to the subject :D, soul-searching.
This sem really calls for priorities and soul-searching and that too at a crunch time.
One really needs to decide how to take on so much pressure and even if he should !!
Well, the simplest (and worst) advice is to just sit quiet and face it all !!
Nah, I won't vouch for it. Just maintain a balance, that's all.
Giving it your best will dry you out completely and u'll need to waste time recharging yourself.
Too little and the consequences are obvious.
Well, I don't know if I should be writing this down, but, here goes.
When you start feeling that things are getting too heavy and its getting at you, I think you really should just sit back and take it slow. I mean, everyone has limits and one really shouldn't go all out just for something that is supposed to mean a lot. I mean, where we end up years from now is not a very sure thing and besides, I am not saying one must give up, just be in ur limits, both upper and lower being equally important.
We all know wat happens when we cross the lower limit but upper-limit, hmm. That calls for attention.
I will put my views here but I would love to hear urs too. Its important for me too, so do pour in the comments.
I guess, if u r reasonably well placed so far, and you can maintain a reasonably good profile even though you are not willing to go all out is I think quite ok.
Going all out is something that should be saved for the end-sems. Coz there's no tomorrow after that. But going all out initially does atleast two damages.
One, it eats up your resources and drains you mentally.
Two, you lack the killer move towards the end sems. You see, the endsems are particularly tricky to handle. You have to go all out. BUT. There are a few conditions required :-
1) u need to be mentally at ease before going for THE KILL (this is where you go to ur limit coz hey, this is the last chance u have).
2) u need to be tensed :)) (seriously, until u lack the motive, there's no use). You do need a drive to deliver the final blow (sorry, the anime is building up on me :) ).
3)U need to have had a very nice weekend before you can start. U know, like ur farewell to the "good" world for a while, atleast till the endsems get over or till u dry out.
4)U need to be at peace with ur heart too. Confusing ?? Lets c.
If u are doing pretty well but u still wanna do more, well, if u r not crazy, then u can't do it. Y ?
Coz somewhere in ur heart, u r content that u did fairly well and hence there is no sufficient adrenaline pumping u. And yes, without the anxiety and adrenaline, u just can't deliver the kill.
5) u need to pretend that its the end of the world for u if u don't get it right.
Again, this is close to 4) but u just have to be xtra "conditioned".

Unless these things don't happen, I think u can't deliver an effective last minute kill.

Now, besides the end-sem, I c no reason y u shud use ur kill, coz it really can drain u.
I have had times when after the end-sems, I would be "not myself" for atleast a day or two. It feels like a daze. I know a few of you will agree with me on this.
And the feeling is really too powerful. It gets at you. U need to cool down after the endsems.

The reason y I need opinions other than mine are coz I feel that if u do want to put in a lot into acads, that means u need to be in love with acads coz otherwise, u r trying to achieve something that u r heart isn't totally in, and hence it will just b a falsification and it just won't work.
Now, if u really are in love with acads, then u better prepare urself for a future in acads, a prof or something close. I know u ppl might not agree but I am of the opinion that (after musing for one whole year) becoming a prof is not something that everyone can or should do.
Simply coz its very demanding and only if u have a passion for acads, u can live such a career, else u will get horribly misplaced.
I used to think an year back that being a prof was quite a noble profession and yes, it really is.
But not everyone can b a prof. If u doubt yourself in this aspect, you mustn't even try, coz it really is quite demanding and time-consuming.

So, unless there is no fatal risk in acads (fatal => 'F'), I think one must stay at ease atleast to his satisfaction. Its not the end of the world, is it ?

The second topic that needs soul-searching is of course, future plans. Do I hear u say "what's that ?". Well, this really is a never-ending story but one really shud start looking out for his/her future atleast before the end of engineering.

There is always the easy way out saying "whatever has to happen will happen, whether I plan or not". Now, I do agree with this fact and I won't try to fight it but you know, there are a few unobvious advantages in planning ahead.
(1) You tend to become a bit thoughtful and you start looking out for urself and that is the least justice you can do to urself. Becoming thoughtful or atleast pretending to be that ;) really does make a person look good :))
(2) It is a real good timepass, believe me. I just retire to the coffee shop, have my fav pick of beverage and walk lazily thru the campus thinking abt the future.
(3) Sometimes it is really good to fascinate abt your future and think abt the scenarios. Believe me, it can be very entertaining.
(4) This is the most important and the least obvious one.
But before I go into this, I am gonna divert to a little bit of philosophy. So plz bear with me ;)
We all claim to be scientific beings, proudly declining most of the super-stitions and all, but deep inside, we are just stupid humans and we need things like destiny or whatever u call it to answer our "unanswerable" (atleast for now) questions related to life and the such.
U know, just imagining God is a pretty cool idea. It gives u a nice punching bag (sorry God :) ) and it is like a sink of all complaints. Hey, clearly, we are quite demanding when it comes to such things. It easier to blame a super-natural force or the alignment of stars or the location of the kitchen or bathroom or whatever rather than blaming oneself, coz afterall, we are stupid naive humans, aren't we ?
But, there is a clear advantage to this mumbo-jumbo lies too.
It fixates ur wandering thoughts. That is, you can kinda leave a few "unlucky" things to destiny and just pass em by rather than crying on it. I personally find this very appealing. Whenever u end up losing, just blame it on luck and move on, easy eh.
Now thats y I feel its good to have a future in mind, though it might not actually turn out to be true later on. The thing is, once u fixate ur mind and u have an "aim" in ur mind, its easier to use ur resources and maximize ur efficency. U c, a human being is at his best, when he is in a tight spot or when he has to meet a deadline (assignments for example ;) ),so by aiming at a certain plan of the future, u really can draw out your swords and start swinging em rather than just wasting time trying to draw out ur best.
What I am trying to say is "aim for something nice, then go towards it". So, there will b something to look for and u will walk or rather jog towards ur aim on the path u made up. And I find that really useful. It does help a lot.

Let me put it in other words.
U can actually build up a lie just to help yourself and to focus ur wandering and restless mind.
Say u have to reach a higher ground and there are no visible steps in between.
You just "imagine" the steps to be there and keep climbing (matrix theory types). Though it will hurt when u realize that it was all a false dream, but by then, u will b at a higher ground than before, so u can just blame luck and continue creating further lies till u reach the place u need.
I know it sounds very conspiracy-style but it really does work.
U know, sometimes living in a lie can be useful, if only u have the courage to accept its a lie.
Sometimes, that is the only way to live in a harsh world.
Quoting from the Thin Red Line :
"Only one thing a man can do. Find something that's his. Make an island for himself".
The last sentence is the punch. Make an island for himself.
Try it once, it really is a good strategy, though I can't promise that u'll b able to handle it when it finally breaks. But then, we are all crazy to some extent, so y not rather use the craziness.

Well well, think abt these things and do let me know.
I think I will go to the coffee shop now, though I guess its closed. No matter, Make a coffee-shop for himself eh.