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Introspection

Through the Eyes of a Soldier of Science


Millions – if not billions – of eyes followed the spacecraft as it slowly disappeared to its distant mission to the red planet. It was the 5th of November when PSLV – C25 launched off carrying the completely indigenous ‘Mangalyan’ capsule on an year long voyage to mars. The ever faithful comrade of ISRO – the PSLV series of launch vehicles – successfully maintained its 100 percent success record. As the small capsule leaped forward into the space, India reiterated its presence in the scientific community by becoming the nation to launch a martian mission at one-tenth of the cost of an equivalent US mission.

And today, 60 days after the launch a humble traveler in the path of science introspects on the position of his country in the scientific arena. His country! A country too colourful; a country too diverse; the birthplace of the oldest religion of the world; a country that proudly shelters more than 18 languages; a country that boasts of its festivals and culture. He greets you from Bharat, Bharatvarsha, Aryavarta, Hindustan. He  greets you from India.

As a billion souls felt their chests broaden after the launch, a few eyebrows were also raised. The questions were not new; but they were relevant. The writer’s country is not only a country brimming with culture and diversity; it is also a country where more than one-fifth of stomachs sleep fighting hunger; its also a place where thousands of children find themselves in tea stalls and not schools; it’s also a country where hospitals are a luxury for some. And the question that was very evident after the mission was this –

Should a country of more than 400 million poverty stricken souls spend 73 million dollars (450 crore rupees) on a mission which may or may not yield a major breakthrough?

Well yes we have a large population under the poverty line. And it may seem to be a sheer muscle flexing act by India to send off a mission to mars and not divert the money to the upliftment of the poor. But is this expenditure really a waste? Well for one thing; out economy was growing at a fast pace when the western world was facing a global slowdown. So we do have money to sustain ourselves. Additionally, even if the mission does not provide something amazingly new, I guess it is an achievement in itself to launch such a cheap mission. This gives the outside world a faith in India’s technology. This attracts may other nations to trust India as a cheap and efficient client to launch their satellites and other space missions. This is one of the immediate returns of the investment.

On the broader perspective, this mission or any other scientific success has a much larger impact. To reduce the economic disparity of the nation, it is essential that the youth gets educated. The question arises why are they not getting educated? In today’s India, most of the citizens appreciate the importance of education. The problem arises because there are not many teachers in the country. Same goes for the health sector – there are hospitals, but doctors are nowhere to be found. And believe me it is these small success stories which create teachers and doctors. It is these scientific stories which inspire the children to take up science; pursue higher education, and be the future scientists, doctors, professors and teachers. So the investment in Mangalyan may seem to be a huge in the short term; but the long term returns of missions like these are things which cannot be simply measured in monetary terms.

At this moment I also feel a lot of responsibility on my soldiers. As a student of science in India, I realise that we as a nation have a long way to go before we come up to the front line of the scientific race. I also know the level of competition in the top-notch institutes of India. I have faced it . And I have survived. But now I feel there are millions of eyes staring at me in expectation. There are thousands who deserved to get through but couldn’t. There is something that really needs to be done. If India; a country of 1.2 billion has produces just 4 Nobel laureates (India born foreign citizens excluded); there is something seriously wrong. When 4 other India born foreign citizens receive the same prize; there is something to ponder about. Why did these people need to become foreign citizens before they could get the Nobel?

When someone addresses us as the cream of the cream (or crème de la crème) of Indian education system, it definitely fill us with pride. But more than pride, it fill us with a sense of responsibility. The cream of the cream should not fail. The cream of the cream cannot afford to fail.

It is said that C. V. Raman cried as he received the Nobel prize; as he was standing under the Union Jack as he got the prize. Although aspiring for a Nobel would be highly over-ambitious for me, I can guarantee the soul of Dr. Raman that if such a day comes, it would be an Indian standing under the Indian tricolour.

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Before I end this rather long speech of mine, I would like to make two announcements. Firstly, a friend of mine, Harshda Mangal has participated in a story writing competition. So you members of the Facebook community, please read the story and vote for it if you like. Here is the link. The voting lines close tomorrow. So please hurry up! Please use a PC or a laptop to vote as voting by mobile has some issues. (You might ask why didn’t I participate. Two reasons. One, I don’t have a Facebook account. And two, I don’t write stories).

Secondly, From tomorrow I am thinking of starting a series of daily posts on sharing of the quotes said by some of the brilliant people on the planet. I hope you would enjoy them.

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So I come again tomorrow. Till then,

Goodbye, Namaste, Nomoshkar, Sat-sri akal, Khuda Hafiz, Jai Sri Krishna.

And Bon Voyage to Mars Orbitor Mission (Mangalyan)

निज-साक्षात्कार | Self- Introspection


2046711744_01bb3fed07_o

 

A journey of self-realization… as a extension of मैं कौन हूँ?

English translation follows Hindi…

 

मंद-मंद बहता पवन हूँ
मंद-मंद सुगन्धित उपवन हूँ
मैं माटी की सौंधी खुश्बू हूँ
इस ब्रह्माण्ड का अलौकिक जादू हूँ

अंजाना सा एक स्पर्श हूँ मैं
हृदयांतर का अद्भुत हर्ष हूँ मैं
अदृश्य मूक श्रोता हूँ मैं
अनकहे शब्दों का वक्ता हूँ मैं

बारिश में छिपी अश्रुधार हूँ मैं
अधूरा अव्यक्त प्यार हूँ मैं
सूखे फूलों की महक हूँ मैं
कैद पक्षी की चहक हूँ मैं

नन्हे शिशु की मुस्कान हूँ मैं
स्वच्छंद पक्षी की उड़ान हूँ मैं
एक अथक-निरंतर प्रयास हूँ मैं
धावक की अंतिम श्वास हूँ मैं

मैं असीम अपरिमित अशेष उल्लास
मैं अनंत अचल सनातन आस
मदमस्त होकर नाचने वाला मैं पागलपन
निश्चिन्त निर्विघ्न निर्विकार बचपन

मैं कभी लघु तो कभी विराट
मैं कभी भिक्षुक तो कभी सम्राट
मैं हूँ कठोर, मैं हूँ कोमल
मैं ही श्वेत, मैं ही श्यामल

मैं वीरों की ख्याति हूँ
मैं अग्नि हूँ, मैं ज्वाला हूँ
मैं माता की ममता हूँ
मैं प्रेम प्रसंग निराला हूँ

मैं वह ललाट हूँ जिसपर सूरज ने स्वयं तिलक किया है
मैं वह कंठ हूँ जिसने स्वयं अमृत-सुधा पिया है
श्रावण की पावन वृष्टि का मैं एक जल-बिंदु हूँ
पर अवतरित हो धरती पर, मैं असीम एक सिंधु हूँ

मैं ही श्रुति, हैं ही स्मृति
मैं ही रचना, मैं ही कृति
मैं समष्टियों का वृहत समाहार
मैं ही श्रृष्टि, स्थिति और संहार

मैं उस निराकार का स्वरुप अपार
मैं नर से नारायण का साक्षात्कार
मेरा पिंड ब्रम्हांड का दर्पण
मेरा सर्वस्व प्रभु तुझको अर्पण

शून्य ही मेरी जननी है, शून्य ही मेरा परम ध्येय
शून्य से शून्य के इस पथ का मैं पथिक, मैं अज्ञेय

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Seamlessly flowing mild breeze

A subtly fragrant beautiful garden

I am the fragrance of the wet soil

I am the divine magic of this world

 

A seemingly unknown touch

A strange delight in heart’s core

An utterly silent spectator am I

An Orator of unsaid words am I

 

I am a tear hidden in rain

I am an incomplete, unexpressed love

I am the aroma of a flower withered away

I am the call of a bird trapped in a cage

 

The smile of a new-born

The flight of a free bird

The never-ending, unfailing trial I am

The very last breath of a sprinter I am

 

The unbounded, infinite, unending joy I am

The steady, unaltered, never-dying hope I am

I am the crazily dancing, uncaring madness

I am the carefree, limitless, unstoppable childhood

 

I am the small and the big

I am the beggar and the king

I am the stiff and the soft

I am the dark and the bright

 

I am the pride of the valliant

I am the fire of the flame

I am the love of the mother

I am the love of the love-story

 

I am the one blessed by the sun

I am the one who has drunk the divine wine

I am the tiny drop of the rain

I am the giant sea that does not refrain

 

I am the first scripture of the world

I am the creative and the creation

I am the collection of all collections

I am the creation, preservation and the end

 

I am the form of the formless

Conjunction of the man with the god

I am the mirror of the entire universe

And hence O lord! Everything mine is yours

 

Void is my creator, void is my goal

And in this journey from void to void, I am the traveller, the un-knowable…

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

I tried to the best of my ability to translate, but admittedly the translation is not as polished as it should be… Any reader is welcome to give suggestions for improvement…

When You Meet You


Introspection_by_egovsego

 

Well, this poem poem has two authors…

It was originally posted by my friend pseudomonaz. The second half was added on by me…

 

You look tired,

Your hair is out of place,

There’s sadness in your eyes,

And dullness on your face.

Tell me,

Would you like you if you met you,

If that was the case?

You’ve isolated yourself,

There’s no one you could call,

No one would lend a hand,

If the next moment you fall.

Tell me,

Would you like you if you met you,

Just passing by the mall?

You’ve dreams,

Not a will to make them true.

You wish to fly,

But scared to try anything new.

Tell me,

Would you like you if you met you,

It that was something you were asked to do?

You’ve lost hope,

You don’t believe in god anymore,

Every turn in your life,

Those moments, the drive,

Now make you bore.

Tell me,

Would you like you if you met you,

Just ask your heart’s core?

You don’t love you,

You don’t believe.

You don’t trust you,

You don’t achieve.

Tell me,

Would you like you if you met you,

If this is the way you are going to live?

————————————————

Shattered are dreams;
Among cries and screams.
Deserted is your heart
As you see them depart
All which is left is disgust and fear
A lonely soul with no one near

The ugly, the pale
Burdened with the fail
A lonely boat
Without a sail.

Maybe you won’t like you,
When you met you
But still…
Do meet your heart
When it’s torn apart.

Hear her out
Let her shout
Embrace her with care
As it utters reasons of despair

And then…

When the heart is nothing but void
No one to fear; none to avoid
Feel the joy which is yet again your own
Relive a dream which left you alone

Because…
With a dream in eyes
And life on a rise
You will be amazed by you
If you meet you…

Let the randomness of the universe increase forever…

– Introvert

Fear


fear

 

Deep down beneath the heart

The root; the cause which fails to depart

The reason evident, yet not so clear

Mind occupied and blocked with fear

What would happen if the secrets get revealed

Respect lost and wounds never healed

Or how will life change if I fail

Will I be able to follow back my trail?

The fear of loss, the fear of pain

The fear of distrust, which I refrain

Fear en-captivates the bird which sings

Shatters its dreams and slashes its wings

Introspection is the key to conquer this terror

It acts as a large, shining and polished mirror

Place in your heart or yet very near

And make fear feel, the fear of fear

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