Pains = Gains + Greatness

 

The Daily Prompt: Pains and Gains. Do you agree with Jane Fonda’s favorite exercise motto, “no pain, no gain?” Is it impossible to attain greatness without considerable hardship?

 

Firstly, what do you consider as great? Who comes to your mind when you hear of greatness?

For me, many people from various disciplines and fields pop up. Like Sachin, Zizou, Gandhi, Lincoln, AR Rehman and the list goes on.

Now I take a step back. I think again. What about my parents? my teachers? my friends in dark times? the army that guards many like me day and night? the heroes in newspaper stories who try earnestly to meet the ends? Hmmm…I feel these people too are equally great.

Being a student of math I can’t resist to compare the concept of greatness with that of infinity. Greatness is just like infinity. When I first ask school kids what infinity is, they try to tell me a very big number like 999999….999. But if I ask them what is the next real number after 1, they realise that it is impossible to tell; it can be 1.01 or 1.001 or 1.0000001. There is an infinity next to 1 too. So greatness, like infinity, is right next to us or so far away from us. Greatness, like beauty, lies in the eyes of the beholder. The moment I spot greatness I have a solid reason to back it. More often that reason hovers around the breathtaking persistence, consistency and dedication on the part of the doer! They may be my sporting heroes playing with broken bones or artists practicing innumerable hours to reach perfection or my parents and teachers ensuring right ambiance for my development or my friends who stick by me beyond rationality – all these people suffered pain – physically or emotionally  or both – to earn a place in the top drawer of my heart. And yes, without pain there is no gain!

Advertisements

New Dawn – Old Life

 

The Daily Prompt: New Dawn.How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).

 

The best of my “Before Sunrise” moments were in my final year of bachelors. With not many classes to attend I had a lot of free time to while away. This was my best time on the campus.

Usually, after the final year project chores and an unpalatable dinner at the hostel mess, started my journey to the new dawn. The paths were many – via watching super duper hollywood hits or sit-com seasons or playing marathon of FIFA or blabbering about the future with friends or discussing about the projects or bitching about other friends or profs or taking strolls at midnight to canteens. Which ever path I choose fun was guaranteed. And an all-nighter too. Because on most of the days I literally waited for the dawn. By the  time clock struck 3 or 4 AM I used to feel real hungry and if, at that point, I succumbed to sleep I would surely miss my breakfast at mess. There was a patch when I consistently missed my breakfast then had to eat the not-so-healthy samosas and had to deal with frequent stomach upsets. Though the fun subsided as the dawn approached I had other incentive to see the first beams of sun rays accompanied by ever busy sparrows, cuckoos, crows and an additional responsibility to wake up the other sleeping bastards!

Now a days, it is rather rare that I wait for the dawn. Because the variable factor in life has come down drastically. More or less I know when and how to start and progress the next day. I miss that nonchalant-part of life. However under the pretext of watching a football game I try to relive the past to see the tomorrow’s dawn.

August August!

 

The Daily Prompt: August Blues. As a kid, were you happy or anxious about going back to school? Now that you’re older, how has your attitude toward the end of the summer evolved?

 

I was actually quite excited to go back to school. Of course I hated waking up early mornings, assignments and deadlines. But the real reasons were the new books, new pens, new stories from old friends and new friends! Exciting, right?

Now the glamour of August has almost faded in my life. How does it matter if the month is August or January! You have targets to meet and deadlines to adhere.

But, even in the frantic pace of life, August makes sure that its presence is felt. Sometimes thrust-fully. When after sunset, the temperature cools down and the night sky gets darker with moist clouds, I pray the august of the August Gods, “Not now! I am tired and hungry! I want to go home! Please, not today!” Most often, they acknowledge my prayers with a lightening! That’s it, I am stuck in a traffic jam. Blaring car lights and honks. August says Hi! with full pompousness!

And I celebrate the arrival with sneezes, hot soup servings and couple of days of sick leave!

Scary Thank You!

 

The Daily Prompt: Why, Thank You?. What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?

 

When an email reads “Thank you for applying to us…” or “Thank you for taking the examination…”. My heart stops beating. I understand that I have successfully flunked the exam cause more than 70% of the time the following sentence will have a “sorry”!! Truly “Thank You” is my bogey-phrase.

It is the same in real life as well. When your boss or girlfriend starts thanking needlessly you must understand that your time is up. Move on!

Thanks for the “curtsy” our societies breed!

It is not all gloom and doom with Thank You. It is rather hilarious when you are not part of the scene. Today I was reading the thank you notes released by Balotelli and Milan. Milan profusely and eloquently thanked Balotelli for his services. But all those words simply meant, “Thanks Mario. We could finally get rid of You!” LOL

Pick Your Potion

 

DAILY PROMPT: Pick Your Potion. Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?

(Thanks, Bea Patricia, for inspiring this prompt!)

 

I am not very picky. But I like to share some exquisite pickings of my friends and family.

She is my only friend who is lactose intolerant! How does she start off her day – Coca Cola! Awesome, right!

Since I can remember, my parents kick start the day with a super duper tea – illachi chai! No brands encouraged. But if FDI is allowed into retail market, they may have to forgo this joy! #NoFDI in retail markets, please!!

Remember the days when Thumbs Up! was dubbed as “A Real Man’s” drink! Really funny how all youngsters, including me, were sold to the advertising! We used to look non-Thumbs Up guys as worms! Thumbs up Thumbs Up!

The me of now, is a very open minded person. The me of past was really pain in a**. I was quite picky about buffalo milk instead of cow milk, Complan drink over any other brand, my infatuation with Appy Fizz also lasted good number of days!!

Nice prompt! Made me walk down the memory lane. Thanks, Bea Patricia! 🙂

The Mighty Internet

 

Today’s Daily Prompt: Breaking the Ice. The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved

 

I think internet is powerful, sometimes beyond our imagination. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is one such novel campaign, a pleasant surprise for me. But in the recent past there were more grimmer surprises.

Do you remember how internet mirrored the Arab Spring that finally led to the downfall of autocrats! The uncensored reporting took many by surprise and forced other countries out of  their slumber to act, one way or the other. Do you remember Operation Geronimo? The first reporting of the operation came from a twitter user who was spending his night on terrace because he could not sleep. He reported the events live, ever before Pak army could come to terms with the situation. Ain’t it something?! More recently and more tragically the first evidence of the blowing up of Malaysian airliner MH 17 came from locals in Ukraine via social media.

Though I was not part of any of these events physically, I was very much a part of these events via internet. I mourned with the affected families, deplored the wrongdoers and hailed the good people. I am also sure that with out internet all such events would have been painted differently.

Finally I would say that every coin has two sides. I chose to highlight the good side. But there is a very dark and ugly side to internet too. A mighty and irresponsible side. So, don’t trust anything and everything.  Choose wisely.

Culture Shock

 

Today’s Daily Prompt: Uncanned Laughter: A misused word, a misremembered song lyric, a cream pie that just happened to be there: tell us about a time you (or someone else) said or did something unintentionally funny.

 

For the past four months or so, for various reasons – ranging from emotional to logical – I am grappling with Spanish, trying to learn by myself online. Prima facie, I did not find Spanish daunting at all. The reason may be because the language is easy to pronounce. But the raison de vivre was to interact with an intriguing latin-american chica. On one of our routine chats, I was impressed by her presence of mind in tackling a question. I called her a vixen, in Spanish – la zorra. If you speak Spanish, I’m sure you can guess her reaction!!

If this is an international culture shock, the domestic culture shocks are more funnier. South Indians nod their heads horizontally when they agree or disagree to something with a subtle change in the speed and direction. But North Indians nod their heads vertically in agreement and horizontally in disagreement. My North Indian interviewer felt that I didn’t know anything for the best part of viva. On the other hand I was discomfited by the lack of seriousness in his questions. Finally I saved my day by putting an end to the nodding business and speaking up explicitly! Ufff!

Off the Shelf

Off the Shelf.

I would like to reread Dan Brown’s “Davinci Code”. When I read it the first time, six years back, I instantly fell in love with Symbology. I was intrigued by the detail Brown poured in to the script. How can I forget not to mention about anagrams! That was the first time I came to know about the existence of such a class of puzzles. After reading the novel I tried cracking many anagrams. Now a days due to the paucity of time or rather because of mismanagement of time I am unable to pick up a book. But I would love to pick up Davinci code ahead of the burgeoning number of my unread books, just to relive the thrill!

Down Syndrome

This news article cought my eye today: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/ill-not-abandon-gammy/article6281931.ece

The subject has already sparked a very valid ethical debate. In this context I wanted to get my basics right. So this is what down syndrome is:

1) congenital disorder (1 per 1000 babies born per year)

2) genetic disorder (child has a part or full extra copy of a third chromosome 21)

3) can be screened during pregnancy

4) Signs and symptoms: Patient will suffer from physical and intellectual disabilities. Patients have poor immune system. They are prone to several disorders viz. congenital heart disease, leukemia and thyroid disorders. The average IQ of a down syndrome adult is 50 – equivalent to a 8 or 9 year old normal child.

5) Genetics: Trisomy 21 (Trisomy-A condition in which an organism has one more than normal condition of two copies): Failure of 21st chromosome to separate during egg or sperm development. As a result the egg or sperm cell has 24 chromosomes instead of 23. When combined with normal cell of other parent, the embryo has 47 chromosomes-3 copies of chromosome 21.

Credit/Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_syndrome#Signs_and_symptoms

I would like to keep this post as a stream, by adding basic information about various disorders that I come across.