Thursday, July 26, 2012

Older and Balding, but not Aged !

As I celebrated the end of another year as an Earthling, the thought of the age conundrum in my life continued to haunt me. Yes, I am older and now my friends call to wish me Birthdays mostly just to make fun of how old I am or to welcome me to "their" side of 30's !! And to add to the misery my hair is definitely not promising many more years of togetherness anymore. Inspite of such existential issues, there is no dearth of comments on how young I look and that I definitely don't look like I am beyond thirty.

There is in fact astrological rationale for this believe it or not ! It so happens that ones blessed by the auspicious planet Venus are endowed with two qualities, extreme confusion and everyouth (after the aptly named beauty product !). I find myself indeed to be so ! Although the comments on my youthfulness are ever welcome, I have come to some grief especially in my profession as a teacher.

I went to the tennis courts to practice on the wall only to be stopped by the man in-charge to ask me, "faculty/staff" or "student" ? Not surprised since such a situation has arisen before, I replied "Faculty" ! With a look of disbelief in his eyes he asked, "card hai" (do you have the membership card ?) to which I replied with a smile, "haan hai dekhna hai kya ?" (yes I do, you wanna see it ?). His response suggested how he was least convinced, he asks "kaun faculty hai, aap ya papa" (are you the faculty or your dad ?? :P). I was smiling but a bit annoyed too and said, its me and showed him the card !

A similar incident happened in class, mind you its the third lecture in the semester. This guy who manages class rooms comes in and asks, which class is this ? I tell him its Dynamics. His next question surprises me further, he says "who is the teacher" ! I start thinking I am standing on the podium lecturing, is it not evident I AM the teacher :P. I still politely tell him with a smile, "I don't seem like it but I am the professor for this course". He walks of muttering that, "Oh I don't have you on the schedule....I will go and check" and so on.

I wonder if this is an India syndrome that I have to look, potbellied or grey haired or have a wrinkled face to pass as a professor ! Or could be my lack of formal dressing ! I have of-course had fun too. After playing a good game of tennis with some students without revealing my identity, its always been fun to see their reactions when I do tell them that I am a professor !!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

De-rationale !

After I came back to settle in India, I started running into some logic defying elements of life here,

  1. I recently bought a Rs. 22k AC for my home. At the end of the installation (which was of course a big hassle in itself), the guy asks me "Sir 15 Amp ka Plug hai kya" (Do you have a 15 Amp plug ?). I was baffled. I asked "isn't there a  15 Amp plug point there ?". Apparently this guy was not looking for a plug point, he elaborated further that the Rs. 22k AC that I bought does not come with a plug (which costs Rs. 55 by the way). It just had a bare cable hanging out of it !! Is it to facilitate AC use for people who directly connect their equipments illegally to the electric line running in the neighborhood ? :D
  2. Getting back to the 15 Amp issue then, what is with these different amperage (also means different sized) plug points ? Where does one find the list of items that fit into 10 and those that fit in 15. Did you know that a top loading washing machine comes with 10 Amp plug and Front loading with 15 Amp ? So if your bathroom has 10 Amp, you better go for top-loading machine (or of course make a "jugaad") :D
  3. To get any loan in India (irrespective of what the Govt. says about making loans easily available to all), you need to prove that your net assets amount to more than the loan amount. Huh ! why would I want a loan then and why do you then call the loans by different names (car, education, personal loan etc.), when all that is being done is pretty much loaning against my assets !!
  4. To register a vehicle you need to provide address proof is what they will tell you. This address proof is a landline telephone bill or a gas bill typically. Now if you go to get either of these connections (gas or telephone) do you know what is the first thing they ask you for ? "Address Proof" :P
  5. And finally, What in the world is the reason for "self-attestation" ? :D Basically if you submit any document here, you need to take the original and a copy and then sign the copy yourself before handing it over. Of course I will sign it ! Since I want my work done I will sign on pretty much anything even if I don't believe my original document to be authentic !! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spiritual Snack !

I want to introduce some spiritual wisdom into my blog regularly from now onwards. Today's is a story,

Tears were flowing out of the eyes of Bhishmadeva when he was lying stretched on his bed of arrows waiting for death. Seeing this Arjuna remarked to the Lord Sri Krishna, "How strange ! Our grandfather who is ever truthful, whose passions are under control, who is full of divine knowledge and is himself one of the eight Vasus - he too is found shedding tears under the influence of Maya (delusion) !"

To this Sri Krishna responded, "Why don't you enquire of him why he cries". On Arjuna asking him, Bhishmadeva responds, "O Krishna, you know very well that I am not weeping due to attachment for my body. The thought that I cannot least comprehend the nature of Thy Leela (sport), is what makes me weep. The Lord, by repeating whose holy names men surmount great dangers, has Himself been acting as the charioteer of the Pandavas and befriending them, and yet there is no end to their trials and tribulations !"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Take me Home !

Long long time since the last post. Well life has indeed taken me back home to India after considerable twists in the tale ! Since events have taken such sharp turns, I too am inclined discuss more serious matters here.

The topic today is Industry Research partnership in India. Recently attended a meeting with IITB aiming to promote industry collaboration. "Partner with us" came as a welcome surprise to me and it was indeed interesting to note that such partnerships have been going on for decades now, although not in an organized fashion. Apart from portrayal of research benefits that industries investing with IITB have derived, the chief topic was how to promote industry research collaboration in India which is still in a nascent state.  The following points came up,

  1. Better marketing by research institutions in India which is currently average to say the least.
  2. Clear planning on industry needs and how these institutions can cater to it.
  3. Develop programs through which industry affiliates can spend extended durations at the university (already exists to some extent) and younger faculty spend time at the industry end (does not currently exist).
However, as far the primary job of these institutions goes on producing qualified manpower, I believe that it works simply on a supply and demand basis. If there are more industries opening up research positions, there will be more and brighter kids willing to take up research as careers. The current salary gap in India between R&D (probably with the exception of computer science majors) and other jobs such as law, finance etc. is too large and the gap needs to be bridged. This will happen only if companies value the long term impact of research for their organizations rather than short term benefits of "make do" solutions.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ramble on......

Well Well Well, who do we have here! Mr.Sporadic blogger, what does he have in store!

“The incessant rains week after week have finally effectuated a dampening of my spirits it would seem. Past of that was a high spirited banter and frivolity I would say but neither too solitary. A constant turmoil has been keeping company though not so evident. I have betrayed quite a few weaknesses in my character which has left me not reeling but atleast pondering over these faults. The events of the recent chronos as it unfolds is only towards material development and hence should not be a source of complaint. But somehow it has only resulted in more and more thoughts and what would seem to be pointless drain of energy. This sequence of events clearly does not suit my style as it stands, but is fun nevertheless. Some of the more common anecdotes of the lore also seem to be very true at this point and thus an indicator of how human behavior and response follows a fairly predictable pattern through eras of development or poverty. All those researchers evidently in search of such links are clearly not without basis………….”

“The downpour has ceased a while back now, leaving behind sweltering and sultry days. The brightness is certainly a welcome sight though not with much influence on the mind. The stillness of the air is palpable today. It is as if the nature is in mourning for something untoward today. The world inside and out are in complete contrast and there is a feeling of a storm boiling in the depths of my mind. That might very well be the unpleasant event the world around me is preparing for..……”

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Today's fortune:

The luck that is ordained for you will be coveted by others

I like this one :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Road

The secluded road through the woods
Darkness that is the devil
The void that is solitude

Splendor profuse on the periphery
Yet in the midst is emptiness
Home to the dead, a cemetery

Trails attach and trails detach
Spiral down the jungle these diverging paths
Yet the road never does find its match

Alone with the shadows
Labyrinthine its digress
Completes the most solitary journey of all

The stages of ascent
The suffering in descent
Traversing through them all
It diminishes into a wall.