Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The ecstasies of a last-bencher !

               How do you expect a guy to be whose dad is a physics professor?  Studious, pretty serious, ambitious, first bencher, taking notes seriously & excelling in all things with a great academic record? Well, I was hardly like the description above & never liked the first bench. Owing to height, I was made to sit last bench in school days, this trend continued in high school & college etc. You know what? Sitting in last bench has its own advantages & I enjoyed it a lot. First of all the probability of making line of sight eye contact is less, you get saved if you haven’t done the home work or assignments. Basically the essence of being a last bencher is you can have your own space, create friends circle there & have your opinion on all things taught in the front. You get to explore the lighter side of fundamentals taught there & enjoy in a cool way as we will learn the actual concepts before exam anyway. First benches are for intelligent guys who mug up things & wish to get higher grades whose sole purpose is to outperform others without having choice of their own. I have friends who were first benchers & had ambitions like marine engineering, advertising, singer, actors, army etc, there were a dozen who told that they would become scientists or astronomers, at least I managed to become an amateur astronomer, but that’s a different topic anyway. But now all are in IT companies just like everybody else. Last benches are for intellectual ones whose level is one higher than intelligent ones & have a cool & unusual opinion about the concepts. For e.g. in engineering I never understood the subject Information theory & coding. I was always wondering if the life on earth would end, we should have backup of all the information, the knowledge gained over ages archived, so that life could continue even if handful of humans left on planet or by having a server on mars or suitable planet & migrating there in case of any catastrophes on earth. With the advent on internet, the amount of information has increased so much that there is so much repetition of information if at all we decide to archive it. That database would be huge even with today’s terra bytes hard disks. No doubt I managed to pass the exam with difficulty.    
                In engineering, suddenly the number of intellectual guys tends to increase & last benches are more in demand. Last ones get filled & then the first ones. Infact at many occasions at my college SDM Dharwad, which rhymes with Harvard & we have a popular saying “Rejected Harvard to study in Dharwad” few first benches would mostly remain empty & professor would have to shamelessly ask students to come in front. Unless the teacher is pretty looking lady it’s pretty hard to motivate the students to come & occupy the front benches. Other advantages of last bench include you can sleep so that you can find time off-class hours for more important things like eating, roaming, chatting on various flowers in the world. You can keep staring at girl whom you like & just enjoy the time passing by watching her because you are damn serious about your one sided relationship with her. Parents often insist their kids to sit near to board because they believe this will impact their performance. Well, I seriously doubt that as I have friends who are first & last benchers who are software engineers in Infosys, TCS, and Wipro just like everybody else. I recently had to sit in first row as apparently all the seats were taken at a lecture at IIA - India Institute of Astrophysics. The lecture was on Bose Einstein condensate which was cool of course as name suggests. This made me nostalgic & recall the long forgotten sweet memories of being last bencher all through my life. Hence this reminisce post.


I miss you last bench wherever you were!!
God bless the last benchers with more fun ;-)  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Million sparkles! Beyond your thoughts series – Part 1

/ under construction /

One fine evening, on the sea shore, witnessing the beautiful setting sun leave behind a million sparkles on the water, I was left with a million weird questions about mysteries of the universe. With my limited knowledge of physics & astronomy, these questions baffled me & somehow seem that the answers are out of the realms of these subjects. A series of deep thoughts about the mysteries of universe swept across my mind, here is a recollection of the same.

What is the destiny of universe?  What is the universe after all?  Does it merely exist as a collection of concepts we call reality, which also changes with time as our interpretation, hence understanding progresses. In coming years, we can expect mankind would have done many experiments on large scale as spacecrafts would be sent to various planets etc collecting data & many experiments like LHC, subatomic particle research which would lead to new scientific discoveries. The reality which we know of today would have become a past. So it’s merely the evolution of our understanding about the reality which influences our assumptions on actual nature of the universe. Ultimate truth as we call is it in the realms of science? Can we ever arrive at it by the scientific approach we pay so much emphasis on?  Would religion philosophy metaphysics be able to discover it faster? Did God create universe or universe created god?  Why is our universe in ever increasing state of entropy when energy remains a constant always? The space as we know it contains only matter & energy & dark matter & dark energy are still under lot of research. Whatever we knew can be considered as “one physics”. The singularity as we call it like black hole & complex topics like galactic centers are so complex that probably we need another set of physical laws to explain them. Are we missing out on “second physics”. Why do we live in 3 dimensions of space & one dimension of time? Why is our universe filled with so many constant & variable parameters? The c file I write has hundreds of constants & variables applied for particular system like automotive. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Well, Thanks a lot for for all my readers for the overwhelming response & appreciation of my previous post ‘A never ending story’. Probably this one is similar to that.
I ran across this beautiful* girl in park & this is our story. How often do you meet a stranger with whom you really connect on an intellectual & emotional level?

*beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder! 
*she must be beautiful of course ! 

            I am hum, She is tum, just simply for no apparent reason at all!
On weekends I usually take a walk or jog, that's the most I can do my my health's sake. So, as I was walking in the park, there was this girl who got scared by dog barking outside the park, as she held my hand suddenly.

hum : hey relax it’s outside the park fence
tum : ya I know, but that scared the hell out of me.
Hum: too afraid of dogs haan ?
Tum: ya, sorry …(probably she meant sorry for holding my hands)
Hum: if it makes you feel any better, I have a friend of mine, colleague, she is scared of anything & everything. whatever phobias they have named, I seriously think she has almost all of them. LOL !
Tum: Really ? Well I consider myself lucky in that case then, I am afraid of dogs & heights & wait cockroaches.
Hum: hann me too, I am afraid of cockroaches too & still call mom when I see one!
Tum : come on, still ?

Why don’t we take a walk while we talk?
Tum: Sure, its good day isn’t it? Not very hot not very cold.
Hum: ya absolutely, you don’t have to worry about dressing put on your raincoats or sweater etc.
Tum: you lecturer by any chance ?
Hum: No, I am a software engineer by destiny & amateur astronomer by choice. By why did you feel that I am lecturer.
Tum: Well you had that professor type ka look you know.
Hum: Oh really, I have been told this a couple of times by friends & don’t like it much as I appear a bit older than I am actually.
Tum: no you don’t, you look like 26 or something.
Hum: ya see I am 25 & you said 26.
Tum: come on, one year older, I am not you psychic to guess your age correctly.
Hum: anyway, What to you do for living ?
Tum: Strange question isn’t it ? What you do for living. Living happily requires nothing actually it’s the society which has created a financial stuff & all where you need to do some work to earn to feed your stomach etc etc
Hum: hmmm Ya correct. Most of the things which give real pleasure should be for free. It’s our right after being born here.
Tum: well, I am studying apparel designing, intend to take up the same as profession.
Hum: apparel ?
Tum: oh sorry, I should explain, fashion designing u know.
Hum: oh right ! Great you are doing something which you really love. Most of the people land up in wrong professions & end up cribbing that why didn’t they dare one time when they had a chance. they were like at point where crossroads meet & they has to choose a path they walk on one of the roads life’s obligations you know, & have a plan that they can return after a while & when they are bit further they think let me walk a little more & then I can return & they keep walking & they come to a point where they cannot afford to return anyway. & just have to keep walking the path. Sorry I tend to go philosophical sometimes. 
Tum: Hmm, I like philosophy, 
Hum:great, So you like me :-)
Tum: What  ? what did you just say ? 
Hum: nothing, you were telling something ? 
Tum: i heard that , tell me..
Hum: there was this joke i used to make when we learnt associative law in high school if A equals B & B equals C, then A equals C. As u like philosophy , So you like me ! sorry bad joke ! 
Tum: Good that you admitted. you seem like Chandler type. Ya really bad joke ,Anyway well did you intend to be software engineer ?
Hum: Honestly I didn’t knew what software engineering was all about, until I actually was working in it. I am interested in astronomy & wanted to take that up, but finances, financial obligations at home, foreign education too many aspects to consider about & landed up here. leave it its long story anyway.
Tum: see my guess was right? Professor type ka ? Astronomy is tough subject stars galaxies evolution of universe ! 
Hum: thanks God, i was just fearing that i need to correct, as most of the people assume astronomy is astrology & ask to read their palms or tell their future. Not really, although true to some extent, we run a club called BAS- Bangalore Astronomical Society. Hey you know what, i was told i am not supposed to brag about astronomy stuff in front of pretty girl. & I really don't like to blah blah about myself, why don't we talk something interesting.
Tum: hey are you trying to flirt with me, pretty & all ? 
Hum: Ya flirting, but i just said what my heart told me :-) alright if you don't wanna be called beautiful :-) jus kidding 
Tum: enough of this senti filmy drama, i am my mom-dad-certified beautiful girl. Hmm, Something which lies in intersection of both interests? well, i can guess you give a damn about clothing etc. fashion stuff etc etc. So lets see i like to read books & blog.
Hum: how the hell you guess that just from my looks, this is the best jogging dress i have. infact the only one i have.
Tum: that's why i guess !
Hum: oh, come on it is good, bachelors really don't care about such things. But have seen the movie The devil wears prada. I loved the movie.
Tum: you must have fallen for Anna the actress in the movie.
Hum: how the hell, u can read my mind. ya she is sexy, but the movie as such is good, its something similar to you, Anna finally goes into profession she loves. So i guess your work is backstage, all the hard work that goes when we enjoy the models on screes on FTV or something.
Tum: ya somewhat, still i am studying, so need to explore the various aspects in this field. I really feel weird about having heavy stuff as astronomy as hobby.   
Hum: Why not, serious science can also be fun, & it depends on individual what he/she enjoys doing in spare time. What are you hobbies? 
Tum : Hmm lets seem, hey i know it may sound silly, i really like to watch tv, everybody says that's hobby, but on the funnier side i really get lost doing that....just lazily watch tv whole day long. I read good books & blah blah about daily life & moments which really feel good instead of keeping  a private journal, i blog.
Hum: thats nice, i also belong to blogosphere. You may not realize the importance of creative hobby if you have something creative to do in your profession, that way you can never get bored as you have always something to invent newly, if if you get good appreciations. 
Tum: Hmmm yaa, never thought about it so seriously ...feels good, thanks for the insight. creativity just relaxes the mind. 
Hum: you must be good at drawing, imagining something & just putting it exactly on paper. i am bad at drawing, Once i drew a girl with short skirts in drawing exam, but she was a kind of sexy :-) 
Tum: really ? i know what you boys think all the time, whatever you think most will come in your actions. i dont blame you for that. 
Hum: hey come on, Don't generalize all boys are not typical. 
Tum: hey it was nice chatting with you, i am supposed to have breakfast with my roomate now i need to go ? 
Hum: Hey , sorry but can we have breakfast , of you can tell something to your roomate. 
Tum : Ahh you are already asking me out ? 
Hum : well, we are technically out, So not asking you out but just asking your permission to roam around with you outside :-) 
Tum: But what to tell, she just identifies that i am lying
Hum :why Lie, tel you met a handsome boy & hanging out with him,
Tum : Oho So you wanna hear your appreciation from me haan ? 
Hum : jus kidding, tell her that you would hang out today entrire day with a wonderful stranger you met at park. 
Tum: No No, not entire day, just breakfast. 
Hum :ok Fine

So Hum Tum meet the next day. both had nice time talking  were sort of desperate to meet each other. 

Tum : hey different jogging dress ? you lied that you had only one. 
Hum : come on i dont care about such things, if i had worn same, you would have asked same, would be critisized in both ways !  

Hum : you look good, fits correctly. 
Tum: Seriously stop flirting 
Hum :relax, i was just , hey by the way, Did you read Chetan bhagat's new book 2 states which has come out 
Tum : no i heard that its not that good, Five point someone was good. 
 Hum: i never read that also, but i am sure now you wanna tell the stoy to me now. 
Tum :  i like story telling, mom & dad used to tell me lots of them to make me go to sleep.   
 Hum: my mom used to tell many many times story of ant which met my dad when my dad was on his way back from work. its so long since i remembered this stuff.
Tum : well, ya somethings are deep inside our mind, we never recollect even thought they are just always there , thoughts & feelings may be childhood schooldays etc.  well, 5 point someone is a story about 3 IITian friends who find pleasure n all the wrong things, they get low percentage, but enjoy their life. 
Hum: nice one, no need to read it now, thanks for saving my time.
Tum :Dude you must take time to do things which are not heavy on your mind, not your astronomy stuff. but i wanna hear more. 
Hum :   

to be continued.....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sci-Fi Cafe

I have seen a lot & lot of science fiction movies, here is my personal top recommendation.

This article is like coffee table magazine, just for random reading.

I'll enrich the contents as & when time permits....comments most welcome please.

1) The Time Machine - Nothing beats the HG wells classic thriller! - A scientist's lady love dies & he wanders in time to find answers to regain his love! The motivation for him to build time machine is just a deep aspiration to meet his lady love just one more time. So constructs a time machine, goes in past & meets her, but she dies anyway owing to the concept or reality that events in the past or rather destiny cannot be changed. He goes to future to find the answers & sort of gets lost in time becomes a wanderer in time! Heart touching scene, moon is shown as fragmented stretching across the sky much like the milky way , amazing scenery & of course the time machine & time dial on it ! Probably this gave first visual picture of a concept as abstract & absurd as a time machine. Good conceptualization &

2) The man from the earth – You will get lost in logical arguments, it's just a simple movie, bunch of professors expert in their own domains, sitting on a couch & chatting, simply mind blowing arguments about religion, philosophy, fiction, beliefs of civilizations, prehistoric man & his numerous beliefs, assumption about God etc, catch up detailed review posted previously on my blog.

3) The Matrix - Totally out of box. Free your mind ! as the punchline tells no body can be told what the matrix is , you have to see it for yourself, well I coudnlt believe that science fiction movie can go to this level of complexity, many concepts beome clear whn you see it for 2nd & third time.AI-artificial intelligence

4) Deep impact - Begins with an high school kid, an Amateur Astronomer spotting an unknown object around star Mizar, its a double star which appears single to eye, but thru binocs or telescope it splits as two. That unknown object is an Asteroid on it's path to collide with earth.

5) Armageddon - I feel it is quite a senti movie, just love the song ‘Don’t wanna miss a thing' ! Planting a nuke in core of Asteroid supposed to hit earth is really a very scientific idea, totally practical when we are faced with such a scenario.

6) Minority Report - Amazingly advanced technology ideas !

7) Hitchhiker's guide to galaxy - excellent novel read "The ultimate hitchhikers guide to galaxy”

8) Pi - A psycho tries to find pattern in stock market. Everything in nature has patterns. Nature loves symmetry & patterns.

9) Pitch black - Good thriller, The moon or planets on the alien planet are superb !

10) The Abyss - Discover what is there in bottom of ocean ! A crew just happens to make an amazing discovery of finding intelligent life forms at the bottom of ocean.

11) Blade runner - Classic

12) Eternal sunshine of spotless mind- Erasing memories? How about that? Two people erase their memories to forget about each other, but their love in the deepest of their memories finds a way to recall good things & reunite them. The deep emotions of love cannot be erased !

13) The Contact – Good movie containing many concepts like Radio astronomy, Time travel, Einstein-Rosen bridge. Alien intelligence etc. But really feels like it's over doing in last hour or so.


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