Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Belated Valentine Thought!

I adored you, you puzzled me
You crushed on me, I was scared
I held a hand, you were terrified
You reconciled with my heart, I started counting our good times
I obsessed, you let go
You pushed me to grow, I helped you to stand
I shed a tear, you invited me to a roar of laughter
I exhibited the bond to the world, you nourished the tenderness in your sweet little world
I ran, you beamed easy
You grew to great heights and my pride heightened
You chided, you applauded
You shared and cared, I embraced and became glad
We danced in brilliance, we breathed in symphony
We were parasites in the form of full grown trees
We clung, we distanced
We romanced, we fought with a unified heart beat
You were a mother in pain, a friend in crime
I was an edifice and at times thorn
You taught me tough love yet became a boon
Every single leap of faith, I took holding on to your kind heart
I draw strength, you are my courage
I am going far but never before stayed so close to you my sweetheart!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Running down the alley
Yes, I can see the light 
Two more steps 
I daresay I can hold it

Wait, strange hands pulling me down 
The land beneath my feet is slippery!
Is this treachery
Is it my own people's tears?
That can't be
Those hands nurtured my young mind

Strength! I have it 
To kick the chains away
Run, faster and wilder towards the light
Towards the dream
Grab my destiny 
Roll over with happiness

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pondering over the life of a non-conformist!

Einstein-His life and universe
Today I set out to deflect from my usual pattern of writing-presenting a book review after I am done with reading a book. The book I am reading now is so engaging and thought provoking that I have taken an unusually long time to complete reading 170 pages of a 550 page hefty book. I will lay out the review in parts, jotting down all the musings I get on reading this book.

I now know Einstein only till he has submitted a paper on 'Special Theory of Relativity'. The present world is engaged in non-stop rant about 'non-conformist' attitude only to follow the coolest dude and big daddy of all non-conformists - Dr. Albert Einstein. Einstein was the epitome of non-conformity since his childhood taking pleasure in maintaining his independent streak of thinking and defying the blind acceptance of any received wisdom much less conceding to authority.

Einstein was a connoisseur of critical thinking from his childhood. In fact he had developed such lucid ability to think early on in his life that he had difficulty to put into words all the wonderful thoughts he had. The world around him thought that he was a slow learner and speaker not knowing the hidden genius inside him that would transform the way world thought of physics. Einstein had problems in keeping up with rote learning at school and was in bad books of almost all the teachers in his college. The child prodigy who went on to study further passed his graduation by being only second last in his class. Even after his graduation he had much difficulty securing a job and earned meagre amount of money by giving private tuitions. He struggled for quite some time to earn a doctorate degree and this uncanny genius of all times did not even secure a professorship anywhere. The great works by him such as providing proof of Brownian motion, ascertaining Galileo's concept of relativity to inertial reference frames through thought experiments, extending Max Planck's 'quanta' concept to the motion of light all came at a time when he worked as a mere third-degree patent officer at Bern, Switzerland.

The eccentric genius was made so by his relentless works in challenging received wisdom. His demeanour earned him many critics and admirers and as with all great men, Einstein too paid little heed to the criticism of either his nature or his works. Reading about Einstein makes one think about all the wrong notions society puts in a child's mind such as following authority, obliging to the old order with humility, never daring to defer et al. I understand the common wisdom that not everyone can be a genius. But wouldn't society benefit from a bunch of more geniuses? I have sworn in to never treat any kid with low expectations and neither curtail it's curiosity to explore. I myself will not shy away from differing with the common norms and doing what I truly believe in. After all the world needs diverse thoughts and not the factory manufactured similar thinkers.

I recently read Walter Isaacson's biography on Steve Jobs and did I get blown away by his writing! Reading another biography from Issacson has reaffirmed by belief that great tales when told by great writers truly create priceless saga. I am awed by the style of writing Isaacson employs in narrating stories of great men. There is a personal touch yet a descriptive life analysis prevails throughout the book. The moral messages author tries to send out are never too elusive and neither hackneyed. The attention to details, research and author's distinctive opinions all make the biography a catching read. Given my electronics background I understood Steve Jobs' biography and the Silicon Valley boom very well. Now that I am reading about scientific advances of the late 20th and early 21st century I am equally enthralled. I was not a staunch fan of scientific history as a student but now having read it in a story form, I have grasped the importance of knowing history in any category - scientific, political, industrial and even religious.

I will now go back to try and understand the remaining heavy scientific jargon of the book. I daresay "Geek is the new sexy".

P.S: I cannot help but make the comparison between Sheldon Cooper's eccentric intelligence and Einstein's diversified genius. I hope Sheldon wins a Nobel Prize soon. :P

The young and super-handsome Einstein
P.S: You can read the next installment of my review here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Allow yourself to be confused

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls while others raise wind mills.
-Chinese Proverb

Most people fix onto their dear self with the fear of changing. They anoint their rigidity to change as 'clarity of future'. The decisions they made years ago and the principles they conceived during easy times become the edifice of their future decisions. This line of thought is divorced from the vision of progress. To achieve anything considerable one is supposed to choose from wide options. I am not up for the argument which says you should avoid confusions and stick to single option quests.

You should let your mind ponder over various paths available. Give your brain some food to think over your aspirations. The emotions you develop during the decision process let you know your true self. Life is not supposed to be a planned calendar. Instead you should always upgrade your dreams. As your capability grows, your dreams must change. Holding onto outdated dreams is like using your favorite old umbrella even after it has holes. It is just not worth your needs.

The options are universe's way to serve you the best things available. It is a chance to grab the best possible dream for you.

Be greedy.

Explore options. Learn about your limitations.

“Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?”
-Steve Jobs

Without options you might never know whether you want to join the navy or be a pirate. At the end you will have chosen what really suited your needs. 

Not being pigeon holed and having options frees you from blaming the fate. All the best alternatives will already be available to you.

Trick your mind. Choose crazy whenever possible. Take the leap of faith. 

Don't be monotonous. Spoil yourself by choices. Get the best. Be awesome. 

Plunge into happiness.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review: The Oath of the Vayuputras

The Oath of the Vayuputras
Common sense personified

I belong to the cult of Indians who think that every tradition, myth and culture in India holds within it's pith a profound philosophy of life. I never accept any tradition/practice at it's face value and always try to decipher the philosophical code within it. Amish Tripathi seems to have put the saga of a great God in terms of simplistic thinking and logical deductions. The story of Lord Shiva has unfolded in the most natural form of human occurrences. The last book of his trilogy 'The Oath of the Vayuputras' draws a culmination to Shiva's journey in destroying the evil.

The second book in the series, 'The secret of the Nags' ended with Shiva meeting his supposedly dead friend Bruhaspathi in the Naga capital of Panchavati. The third book takes off from the same scene and opens the readers to a frenzy of secrets, explorations, betrayals and wars. All the previous open ended questions find answers here and Lord Shiva will decide what is the evil that is scathing the human race in India. Those who stand by Shiva's proclamation are saved from his wrath and those who do not, face a brutal end by his hands. Shiva mobilizes the armies of Nagas, Brangas, Suryavanshis, Chandravanshis and Vasudevs to wage war against the evil. Will the Vayuputras aid Neelkanth in his holy mission? What is king Daksha's role in the war? Why wasn't the evil unearthed till the Neelkanth came? What is the oath of Vayuputras? - all these mysteries are revealed in the book. 

What is appealing about Amish's third book and the entire series is that the beliefs, traditions and rituals we follow in India are explained in the light of philosophy involved during their origin. The way of life among the characters of the book is nearly utopian and highly logical. The reader cannot help but agree with the simplicity of life. There is only dharma of a person that is the ultimate truth which is true in every sense in that it is what you think of your duties that dictates your actions. There are no superstitions but logic, no magic but scientific knowledge, no treachery but only warriors. The mythological characters which appear in the book are truly justified for their character and behavior. Amish has assumed Shiva to exist around 3000 B.C and hence has put in a dash of middle Asian history into the plot with effortless ease. There are Egyptians and worshipers of Ahura Mazda (early history of Zoroastrianism depicts this) central to the story of this book. The symbolism and science of the Indian mythological beliefs find a new dimension in Amish's simple narration. The war descriptions are especially Amish's forte of excellence. The fierce princess Sati and her son Kartik show the shadow of death to their enemies in every combat. 

The book seems a drag initially until the plot gains a substantial hold on the readers. The emphasis on Meluhan customs, mannerisms is completely lacking from this book. The playfullness of many characters such as Anandamayi, Bhadra hardly surface. The ending is a bit dull and somewhere Shiva becomes far too lenient in forgiving few of the conspirators. Apart from these minor detours from perfection, this third installment of the trilogy provides a successful finish to the Shiva trilogy.

My most favorite part of the book:
The engineering behind many complex instruments, warfare strategies, dams, bridges, construction.

I recommend this trilogy to every Indian for it gives a new perspective in looking at the ancient mythology.