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February 2013

The Days of Competition…


competition

Halfway through through my undergraduate days, I look back in time to ponder over the times which passed by. Memories come flooding into my mind – but the ones of which I think the most, are those which had no no time to think. The two years which I believe every science student in India has experienced – The Last Two Years of Schooling. So here is what comes to my mind when I think of the two years…
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Time: 4:30 AM
Alarm Beeping… Sudden Realisation – “I overslept for 30 minutes… Oh no!”
Looking at the heap of books… Rushing towards the washroom; and then back – for what – Studies of course! To battle out questions to be exact

“I overslept… How could I…
Anyhow Subject for the day – Chemistry
Target: 120 Questions – 1 hour
Timer Set
Ready..Set…Go!”

And then the poor notebook of mine… Going through all the pains as structures of weird, poisonous and dangerous chemicals were drawn through. My mind, immersed in solving the questions – we and only we do know how ‘unscientifically’ did we reason them out.

Time’s up!
I feel the sun on the horizon.
Time to check the answers…
” aadc…aadc; bbdb…bbdc.
Oh no! c… How! Why! I was sure that it was b!
Anyhow -1 instead of 3. 4 marks gone. Continue checking”

“191 out of 360…
Not enough!
Anyways…
What’s the time now… 6:45…
Mom! Breakfast!!”

Had the breakfast – get ready – and rush…
“Why do they have a rule for 70% attendance?
Else I would have more time solve questions.
What the crap!”

In the school…
Lecture going on
Me – on the first bench – solving questions of a test paper – not related to the class in anyway.
Now there arise two questions
First – How dare I do so?
Answer – Special privilege of being the ‘brightest’ in class. I don’t know how did they decide it. I was not the topper.. was the second rank holder (that damn girl – how much could she study?). Anyways, I did have the permissions for an open betrayal of the class.

Second – Why did I?
Answer – Because everyone did so. After all we were a bunch of more than 1 million students struggling for less than 4 thousand seats. We were preparing for IIT-JEE. The competition: immense; the craze: boundless…

Return from the school – 2:30 PM
Take a bath, have a lunch – and then off to coaching – The Factory to produce studious stupid Human Machines so that they can be dumped into an engineering college.

In the van, taking us to the coaching centre, we had the moments where we gossiped with our friends. Topics of discussion – how many questions did one solve for the day; were there any good question banks available; or what are our odds of being selected in the exam.

Then we reached the coaching centres. The place where they claimed to ‘teach’ us science; they taught us how to solve questions. The system was too mechanical…

9:00 PM – Back to home – Dinner – Study again (but this time with heavy eyelids).
And as the clock struck 11 o’ clock. My eyelids gave up for the day.

———————————————————————————————————————-

Those were the days of a blind struggle. Aims in life were: Solve questions till the last breath; learn less – only to the extent required to solve questions. No problems if you score less in an exam if you can ensure that others too score less. Those were the days of competition… to crush others and strive forward…

Such is the life of a typical class XII student of science in India. The funny part is they don’t understand what they are doing. And FYI, the ‘Science’ students here do no science… What they do is ‘Engineering Preparation’ in official language and ‘Moving in a flock of sheep’ in the actual sense.

What they do is not my choice, but by force. The society forces you to do what you are doing. Here engineering is the default branch of study if you choose science and maths during schooling. If you enroll in a ‘science’ course in the college, it is implied that you did not get an engineering seat…

And today as I sit in a science college writing this stuff up, you must be thinking, what happened next. The battle way long and twists to the story remain. But those I save for another day.

The Festival of Spring


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Fragrance spreading in the breeze
Flowers swaying, chattering trees
Restless butterflies fluttering in joy
Birds singing melodies for hearts to enjoy.

O Mother! the charming, the peaceful, the wise
With you the treasure of music lies
The source of wisdom; be one with my soul
Help me achieve the long envisioned goal

The source of music, the eternal sound
Accompanied by joy, spreading all around
Bless the the world with the season of love
May we bathe in the showers of blessings from above.

Yesterday, we celebrated Vasant Panchmi: The festival of spring and the day to worship Ma Saraswati: The Goddess of wisdom and music. And hence did the spring, officially arrive in India.

What is it that you call love?


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O Friend!

What is Emotion? What is Pain?
The Love, which you seemingly seek day and night,
O Companion! What is it that you call love?
Is it but only full of sufferings?
Is it but only tears of sorrow?
Is it nothing but ocean of grief?

Then why is it, may I know
People in joy, aspire for such a pain?

For me, all are joyous
All brand new, all pure and clean
The blue sky, the green forest
Joys and and sorrows, the bud and the flower…
All are like me…
They all sing, they all dance
It is among all the fun and frolic;
That they aspire to die.
They know no sorrow, neither tears
Nor do they ever try to tame the pain…

Flowers fall off smiling
Moonlight fades with a grin
And full of joy; do the stars
Immerse into the ocean of sky!

Who else is as happy as me?
Dearest friend come to me…
A joyous song of the happy heart
Through which, the soul merges with the one.

If you weep each day
Never will you meet the joy
Never will we forget the grief
And together will sing…

What is Emotion? What is Pain?
The Love, which you seemingly seek day and night,
O Companion! What is it that you call love?
Is it but only full of sufferings?
Is it but only tears of sorrow?
Is it nothing but ocean of grief?

*My attempt at translation of a wonderful song by Rabindranath Tagore.
Here is the original song

She’s Back


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I never knew that separation could only strengthen our relationship.
You know how lonely is my life without you.
If ever you wish to imagine so, look at the new moon sky…

Millions of stars; sources of light
but none as graceful, neither so bright;
And a lone traveler struggling all night
Trying his best to get directions right

Wandering around; with suspicion and fear
As timid, as restless as a musk deer
A purpose visible, but not too clear
In search of a smell so far; yet too near

And then one day, I find you again
Forgetting the the sorrow and the pain
Times had changed, gone was the strain
You had changed, but the charm did still remain

Yes my dear friends, my soul mate is back, and relieved am I…
I did save her from dying…

She is indeed more gorgeous with Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.10 installed.
Fast and beautiful like never before!

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