Saturday, March 31, 2007

Life's beautiful with friends around you

Been writing profiles of friends for the valfi, reliving the past two beautiful years spent at IIT... Some one said "You cant choose your relatives, that's why God gave you friends" !! Seriously, msp nbd, tensions about the future, about studies.... all are forgotten in the dinner table conversations and masti with friends.. If not for my gang, I would have gone crazy by now!! :) Friends rock!! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

musings of a muddled mind..

Ha ! Back to blogging after a long time... The abstinence was a tough one, but, well, the sacrifices one has to make for an msp !! :D

Lots happened since the last time I blogged - In the general front, we had India getting beaten royally at the world cup, and also, the ugliness behind the scenes making its presence felt in Woolmer's murder. On a more personal front, there was a riotous holi, then, a fun-filled Swar Sandhya, PAFs and lots of fun at the hostel [as usual :)]. Now, the countdown has begun. We have just a month left, with Apr 27th being our msp presentation day. With valfis round the corner, was feeling quite senti, and unable to work [which explains why I am blogging from lab, in spite of having a submission hanging like the famed Damocles sword on top of my head :D]

Cant seem to get a particular incident out of my head since yesterday. Thought 'penning' it down might help.

Yesterday, we Amchis [For the ignorant, Amchi is what we Konkani people call ourselves.. and, for the hopelessly ignorant , Konkani is a language spoken, not just by Goans but also by few communities in Karnataka and Maharashtra] went for Sid baab's treat (for having secured a PT at Cornell.. with a huge stipend, and a Looker as a guide ;) ]. We went to Chakras, the typical IITian adda for treats. On route to Chakras, we were caught in one of those -talked-about-on-the-radio traffic jams at a Saki naka signal. As Chakras was a just a stone's throw from that signal, we decided to get down from the rick and walk [prudent decision, as the auto would have taken at least 20 mins more, as compared to our 5 min walk :)]. As we crossed the road, I heard a sharp clang, the kind you hear when something metallic strikes the ground. I turned back and saw, a tiffin dabba lying on the ground. Its contents - few rotis, some rice, a sabzi .. a nice, nothing-fancy-but-filling home-made dinner - lying on the ground. The owner of the dabba - a youth of about 20 - had stopped his cycle a few feet away and was looking ruefully at his dinner, which had fallen off his cycle as he was taking a turn. Then, he slowly and dejectedly walked back to pick up the now-empty dabba. The look on his face somehow remained with me. Even at Chakras, while we were having a lavish treat, I couldn't help but wonder whether that guy ate something that night, whether he had money to buy himself some food, or if the spilt dinner translated into an empty stomach for that night.

Even at our PAF, they spoke of Vidarbh, where the farmer who grows food, is now not even being able to have two square meals a day. The PAF aimed to put across the plight of the farmer and we also had
a farmer who came down all the way from Vidarbh, after a day long train journey, so that he could tell us first hand about their problems. But soon, after the PAF, half the junta walked away cursing the PAF for its low "entertainment" value, the performing team was busy rejoicing, the mood of pathos evoked by the PAF soon forgotten in the jubilance, and everyone forgot the farmer, as usual. We all have learnt to be insensitive. Learnt, practised, and now mastered the art of self-centeredness. As long as we have a food supply, and a salary sufficient to buy food - irrespective of the cost, we just are not concerned about people dying of hunger in the very same state that we live in. Why go to Vidarbh, we have homeless people in Mumbai itself, for whom the very next meal is a question mark.

Why such discrepancy?? why do have excess in some places and a pinching scarcity in another?? Why do we have people dying of hunger in some places and people throwing away food callously at parties in some other places?? And, why aren't we bothered the least about it??

Being a person who cant withstand hunger for long, the thought of someone starving seems most pathetic. And, it seems even more insensitive, that after looking at a man who might possibly go hungry that night, I went on to stuff myself, without even asking if I could help him in any way. I have joined the brigade of the callous. The God of Insensitivity reigns supreme and we, His faithful devotees, march triumphant.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Murphy rules...

Ever had one of those days where it seems as though everything is conspiring against you? Where Murphy rules, with every possible thing going just wrong? How would you feel? - Bad - Miserable? And, to top it all, if you discovered that it was your carelessness, your fault, which is causing you all the problem and you have no one to blame, not even circumstances, but yourself? Trust me, it is the lousiest feeling one can ever have.

Just discovered an idiotic error in two of my simulations. The starting conformation of proteins should have been [Phi, psi] = [-76, +149] . I set it to [-149, +76] . I still remember pausing at this step, then, hurtling along, after reassuring myself that it was in the right quadrant. If only i hadn't been so cocksure, I wouldn't have lost nearly three weeks of work. If only I had checked .. all it would have taken was a minute.....

I could kick myself, I could cry.. but it isnt going to help matters the least bit. Began my simluations all over again, rechecking every tiny thing this time. Yet to speak to my Prof. Dont know how he'll take it, but I guess, I ve been careless, and no point in shying away from it now.

A famous writer [I dont recall his name, nor am I in the mood to google for it now] once said "The saddest phrase ever said is 'It might have been...' " . How well I can relate to it today!!