The Ultimate Truth

I always had the eyes to appreciate the pulchritude of the elegant solutions that mathematics proposes, but unfortunately I never had enough wits and patience(and ofcourse courage) to explore the infinite landscape it offers. Sometimes I wish I had a sherpa who would guide me in negotiating these terrains while I appreciate the beautiful view at those heights. Although I never hoped to get such a guide, but serendipity is what one might call it when I discovered this book “The Music of Primes” by Marcus Du Sautoy at a book fair.

The book describes the quest of mankind for understanding the mysteries of primes, their penchant for finding patterns in them which still eludes them after centuries of hardwork. But the side effects of such a quest(which I am sure will succeed one day) have been tremendous which on one side account for the deeper understanding of the abstract concept of the nature itself while on the other side has geared the tremendous pace of technology.

I have known and appreciated the concepts of mathematics manifesting itself into the beauty of nature, the most striking being the fibonacci series, but I could never fathom that the distribution of primes would have a resemblance to the energy level of electrons within an atom. And both these patterns are truely random, a lot like tossing a coin or rolling a dice.

There is a lot more to this universe than we have observed or could observe before we kill each other. The whole universe is based on some beautiful set of equations, simple enough for soundness and complex enough to elude the understandings of the greatest of our kinds. The numbers and equations are not a figment of our imagination, they do not depend on our existence, but they do exist irrespective of whether we exist or not, and they will keep governing the phenomena of the universe. A prime number will always be indivisible in any number system that the various civilizations across the universe have developed in their own home planets. This is something we can call an absolute truth.

Maybe this is true even for our lives, since we too are an integral part of this universe. Maybe the events of our life are governed by some random distribution generated by a set of equations. Some distributions lead a person to greatness, while  most of the others plunge him into the abyss of anonymity. I am a great believer that in life our choices do govern whether we reach to greatness or not, but maybe even our choices are governed by these same distributions. Ofcourse, we might never find out if this is indeed true, alteast not in our lifetimes.

Fickle Hearts

People have a habit of falling in love. They fall in love with a person, an idea, with money, position, power and sometimes with themselves. They obsess it in their dreams and thoughts. They paint in their minds the image of how the person or idea is, or should be. This love forms their lifeline, their source of energy in distress. And we admire such people, people with purpose in life, people with beliefs, people who love someone.

But what happens if one day I realize that the one I used to love passionately has changed beyond recognition or I always had wrong notion about that person; or that the idea I so obsessed about doesn’t even make sense in the current context anymore. That would shake the ground beneath me, and deprive me of my source of energy. That would leave me heart broken.

And its not an alien concept. This keeps happening everyday to some person or the other. Every day ideas are debunked, perceptions are proven wrong. We rely on fickle things to keep our hearts from breaking, and more often than not we are punished for it.

Still we survive. In fact we live. Isnt that a beauty? A tale of courage often untold? Or is it that only those survive who do not love, do not believe in anything? I hope not, because that would break my fickle heart.

The Good, The Bad and The Grey

Long long ago, during the earliest days of mankind, there were two important rival clans: The good and the bad. Each having their leaders and each having their followers. They would fight over each deed, to brand it as good or to brand it as bad. This went on for a while till both the clans were tired of the bloodshed. Both of them wished for a middle way. Both wished for something called “grey”.

But such an arrangement could only be possible if one of the clan leader were to initiate it and hence risk appearing weak. And losing respect of their followers is on no leader’s agenda. So then again both of them wished for a middle way to bring forth the middle way.

Now was it pure chance, or a well thought plan; none could comprehend, but once while fighting over a deed, a small child, the age of 7 proposed a solution to both the leaders. And in those ages, children were treated as sons of gods; the truth teller; the innocent, uncorrupted souls and were treated with respect. So the child was lent the ear he required. And the solution was precisely what the leaders wished for: THE GREY AREA. If a deed could not be easily won over by either side, it would be kept in the no-man’s land, the neutral zone, the grey area.

And as the time progressed, more and more deeds kept falling into the grey area. Even the ones which once had a stronghold in either of the clans.

Since then the good and the bad lived happily ever after, while the humans were struggling to define the term morality!

The village with beautiful eyes

The village in a place far far away had a peculiar culture. Whether it was because people were too ashamed to show their real faces, or whether it was a noble step to discourage all prejudices; each one of the villagers wore a mask. The mask was created by a mask-maker whose shop was near the village common well.

There were masks for happiness, with a smile on the lips. There were masks for sadness, with a frown on the face. And then there were masks for laughter, with white shining teeth. So the streets were witness to just three kinds of emotions, which was pretty unfair.

And so it happened that once the mask-maker fell in love when his eyes struck gold seeing a beautiful girl who had briefly unmasked to buy a new one. Not surprisingly the whole village got painted with this spirit of love. Where ever you go you would see people with a glow in their eyes. Their smile got more genuine, their frown got more heart touching, and their laughter would remind that there was still hope for humanity. The whole village got  beautiful.

But the fate had to intervene and soon the girl got married. The mask-maker was heart broken. It was imperative for him to swallow his grief and continue making the masks, for the whole village chores depended on him. And soon the village got painted with a totally different kind of expression, the emotion of pain. The pain which needed compassion rather than pity, as it was accompanied with dignity and self-respect. The people would smile and laugh but their eyes would betray. The sadness got more genuine.

But there was some beauty in this breakdown. The tear filled eyes would sparkle in the sunlight. The streets seemed grave, serene.  Silence is a virtue too underrated as it is invariably associated with being dumb. But it was the silence and the beautiful clear eyes which exalted the village to divinity.

Your voice may lie, your lips may agree; but its those two beautiful eyes of yours you need to watch out, for they have a habit of telling the truth!

Hello World!

So someone just created me by some calculated strokes on the buttons of his keyboard triggering a phenomenon which in itself is marvelous in nature and far too overwhelming for someone to understand the exact specifics.

I am just a figment of imagination and I exist just because there are people who have attributed some significance to me. I am just an idea which gets transferred from one person’s head to another’s. I don’t have any form, I don’t occupy any space, yet I can make people love each other or kill each other. I will lose my meaning once they cease to exist. And without meaning, a sentence is just gibberish, just a few waves of sound lost in oblivion in a fraction of second.

Isn’t it wonderful that at any particular moment I exist to only a fraction of people while for the rest I have no existence at all? Now that you have read me I exist in your world, but go ask your neighbours and I am quite sure they would be ignorant to my presence.

Enjoy Life! Keep Creating!

Regards,

One of the random ideas of a computer engineer located somewhere in India.

And here comes the winters

Winters are the most romantic and the most romanticizable of all the seasons. Ya dancing in rains in sexy ofcourse but theres a lot more that can be done in winters. The fog and the mist, the chilly winds and the steamy breaths. What can be more beautiful?

Winters are times of closeness. You dont mind keeping the laptop on your lap as you enjoy its warmth. You dont mind watching a movie cuddled into a single blanket as it keeps everyone warm. And most importantly, you wont mind sitting next to a rickshaw wala to enjoy the warmth of fire lit beside the roadside.

Also winters are times of inactivity, laziness. And when sometimes I wake up at 1 in the afternoons,(yes I do but only on weekends. 😀 ) and see the light of sun dampened by the fog, I feel I haven’t missed much of this new day. I don’t feel guilty of my lazyness.

Winters are the best reflection of how human life works. If you are one of the well off ones, winter is a bliss for you have all the means to enjoy it to fullest, but if you are on the other side of the economic scale, its nothing more than a nightmare. Also romanticizing is a hobby when you are secure enough with less worries of the basic necessities of life. Its sad but its true, and bare truth is always better than hundred candy coated lies.

And as they say about life, nothing lasts forever, not even the cold November rain. Life is measured not by the number of springs enjoyed, but by the number of winters endured.

Cheers for the winters, and lets welcome it with this song.

Catching The Bus

Its often heard that each city has its spirit, a feeling which makes living in the city a unique experience. Throughout my life, the four years I spent in Guwahati has been the longest I had ever been in one place, and what I can assert is that all these places had their own different ways of life.

Like any relationship, our relationship with a city is a two way commitment,(however infidel it might be ). The city has a way of life, and when we move into it we try to adjust to its way and which eventually becomes our way of life. For the past four years the pace of my living had been the slowest I had ever encountered. I dont mean that guwahati is a slow city. With little certainty I mean that IIT Guwahati is a slow community and with all certainty I mean that I was too lazy.

However now I have been picked up from the cozy indolent lifestyle and thrown into what we can ascertain as the fastest paced city in our country(or in world???Though I know I can face a lot of contradictions here :D). I want to catch the green colored DTC bus, but inspite of running hard I am missing it daily. I guess I am too slow. But its not depressing, its just fascinating to see things going around at a breakneck speed,(literally 😀 ). Next time I go to catch a bus, I should take a walking stick with me, so that when I lag behind I could stretch the stick and hook it in a window of the bus.

I know once I manage to catch the bus, my life will change forever.

The Perfectionist

‘Perfection’ is a word that intrigues me. Here and there I can see a lot many, if not all people pursuing their goal to attain perfection, but the more they try, the more it eludes them. However, the use of the word ‘elude’ is a bit unfair here, as these people are actually getting better at whatever they are trying to master, its just that the more they get to know about their own capabilities the more they aspire to attain in future.

Interestingly, when I look at the ‘near-perfect’ things around my life, I kind of get nervous. I hate monotony, and once build all the near perfect things acquire monotony. Consider the ‘Delhi Metro’ for example. Will it keep running till eternity with the same announcements, same opening and closing of doors without any accidents? Not that I wish this brilliant system to fail but the thought makes me sick that it will keep on running forever.

The words ‘infinity’ and ‘eternity’ scare me. And though I admit that I am a disappointment when it comes to  maths, but thats not the only reason. I cannot comprehend that fact that this universe will last for eternity, that the empty space around us is infinity, and that owing to the aftereffects of the big bang, our universe will keep on expanding into that infinite empty space. Its just makes me feel so insignificant.

Perhaps thats the reason why people believe in god. They dont want to be left alone as a tiny insignificant piece of hydrocarbon but need to feel that they have been created for a purpose. I agree that I dont have the intellect to decide whether god exists or not, because if he/she does exist and he/she did indeed create this universe, then we are no more than subjects bounded within the framework of his/her experiments. Debating about god’s existence would like the following scenario.

In the context of Operating Systems(a field in computer science)

Process 1 to Process 2: Do you believe in Operating Systems?

Process 2: yes.

Process 1: Do you believe that there is an almighty power that allocates you memory, cpu, when you require and takes them away at its discretion without any consideration for your opinions. If that is true, explain me why there is so much inequality in this system, why are most of the processes idle waiting for CPU or many of them have been swapped out due to lack of pages. Does this reflect the fairness of you Operating System?

What I believe is in the end nothing matters. If there’s an afterlife, I wont be remembering any of the stuffs I did in this life in the same way I dont remember what all I did in the previous life if it existed. So practically I have just one life to live, a life of just 50-70 more years. Now, I could live this life convincing myself that there is no god and I am solely responsible for my actions and punishing myself for my failures even though I might not deserve the punishment, thus making my life miserable. Also in this case I miss upon the opportunity of being grateful to someone, which to my experience is the most satisfying act of all. And the other extreme is to rely totally upon god for each and every decision of life, and trivially making the life worthless for myself and even others (as followed by religious fanatics). But there is a third option that I follow(and which most of the common people do with or without realising). The option is to believe in god, to thank him/her my for successes, to blame him/her my for failure, but not to an extent where my actions are compromised. I try to do the best I can for what I aspire, the result, I leave it on the uncontrolled circumstances, i.e. GOD.

And believe me when I say this, “I am a happy soul.”!

The Writing Drought

Its been a while since I wrote something, anything. You might be in an impression that adobe has brought forth the boring workaholic engineer inside me and killed what little bit of art I had but I would deny all such accusations. I am not short of ideas, its just that I am not getting time for myself. To be true, I am not even trying to. Although I hope things will change in future.

Meanwhile I had a realization which I wish to share. Here at adobe we are provided with a lot of independence– flexible timings, sports and gym facilities, free food– and this true in almost all the IT multinationals. Its hard to comprehend at the first look that how a company could manage to build such wonderful products with these levels of independence. The answer is: the choice of people they choose to hire. They hire people who love challenges. And what they need to do is just toss a problem in front of them like a piece of meat infront of a tiger and watch the show. The piece of meat is torn into pieces and at the end not even the bones are left. Its no wonder that the best softwares in the world are free and open source.

So this post was just to clear off the dust from my desk. I hope once the cleaning is done and the desk organized, I will be a bit more disciplined when it comes to writing. Enjoy life. Best of Luck.

Good-Bye

Recall the experience when you have a big presentation in the morning, and you are suffering from a “can’t-sleep-before-3”-nia. Now if you are like me, in the morning when the alarm rings, you would press the snooze button. Usually these 10 minutes of snooze feel like heaven, its like I am mogli in the cozy lap of balu in a jungle with everything made of honey and my nostrils are filled with the sweet damp smell of honey. But now it becomes a different story altogether. These 10 minutes become the most painful 10 minutes of my life. A dream recurs to me again an again like a hundred times in these 10 minutes in which I have got up and entered the class prepared to give the presentation. And the most painful moment is when the alarm again rings at the end of 10 minutes. Now I have to wake up in any case. And the lack of sufficient sleep the last night lends a lot of tiredness to my body and so when I try to wakeup I feel like my soul is trying to rip off my body to get out of it.

I have been living here in iitg for 4 years and now the alarm has rung. Now its the phase of those 10 minutes of recurring dreams following by the 10th minute of painful goodbyes. But its only after that painful process of waking up is accomplished, one gets to give that presentation of his/hers to prove his/her mettle. Dreams, however beautiful they might be, are still dreams. To solve the real world problems, we need to wake up.

I have made a lot many mistakes while being here in iitg. And this place was generous enough to forget my mistakes and encourage me to look forward into the life. I have learnt a lot much from those mistakes, and I know that the outside world won’t be that generous.

Good-Bye everyone! Hope to meet you all at the other end someday or the other!

P.S. : I couldn’t do justice to the post, but I think to write a  post which would do justice to these moments, I would have to transcend my own abilities.