Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Bed of the Future

For the past few days, I am suffering from a shoulder ache. It makes me act like a zombie. Turning my head was never so painful as it is now. My doc tells me to use the right pillow as that affects the shoulders.....And, that got me thinking.

The bed as a platform to rest on, has not really evolved. It is still a platform, but now, they have space in it to store stuff. It is like trying to tell the user, "you don't need to stuff the mattress, use us instead". But, frankly, somehow technologyical advancement bypassed this essential item of our daily use. No change has happened for decades.

My pain made me see the bed of the future. A platform which needed no mattress or pillow. Both these items had become extinct. What remained was a simple platform.
As I lay down to rest, the platform changed its shape. It suited my figure. Supported my spine, and rested my head at the level I found comfort in. As I turned in my dreams, the shape changed under my head. Subtle enough to not wake me up, sure enough to support my head in the new position.
Voila! No backaches/shoulder pains!
For me, the bed of the future had arrived, but only in the mind's eye.
For now, I have to keep adjusting my pillows.

This is what I see. What do you see?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I recenty finished the last of the Harry Potter series. A wonderful world where being a witch or a wizard is "in" and being a muggle/normal is "out". JK Rowling has done a wonderful job....perhaps outshone Enid Blyton, my favourite childhood author. I noticed something different in the way she brought about magic in her story.
Unlike other authors who have dealt with magic (Lewis etc) and shown that magic resides outside the human, in Harry Potter, magic is with the characters. You don't have to open a secret door, or enter an enchanted forest to find magic...the place does not matter. Magic is where you are, coz you are the magician. Witches and wizards are normal in every way, except for the special gift of magic.

If what Rowling depicted in her stories was actually true, it would mean that we could no longer attribute what we cannot explain to "God"/"The Force" etc. MECE (Mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) would imply that wizards and witches had a role to play in creating mystery in a muggle's everyday life.

Nonetheless, it is a wonderful read for children and adults of all ages.

The other day I read about a research in the newspaper. Some profs in the US (though I think, it must have been their poor RAs) have found out that human beings remember events/happenings in their lives which have a strong emotional attachment. It means, I shall remember the day I got my first paycheck, coz I bought a gift for my mom which made her happy and in turn made me happy. Enough emotion to match a hindi movie plot.
But then, this has other implications. It means, my life so far is a blur. Everyday is the same. Except when I felt emotionally active. Not mentally, but emotionally.
Does this imply, that the brain is now the subject of the heart? Does this mean, that for me to remember anything, I must Feel? Very interesting... Does it mean that people who are more emotional, feel more often, are less cold, calculative and thinking...actually have the most wonderful memories?

I guess, for all those times I create a new password or get a new PIN, I must feel happy/jubilant/ecstatic - depending on the importance of the information.

Take care...and keep feeling!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I saw an Ad on TV the other day. The company has changed its name. And the best way they thought of letting people know was through two girls who are identical twins.

The Ad goes on to say - "Everything is the same, except the name".

I have an identical twin. To me that line is like a personl insult. An insult of their individuality. Genetically they say, we are 99% same. But the 1% difference in genes makes us react, respond, behave, attract, repel, love and loathe completely different kind of individuals.

While on the surface, at a distance we appear same. People are confused, just like an Indian would find all Japanese looking the same. It is funny, how all through my life, I've seen people think that seeing two people looking alike was "weird". I have felt that people cannot completely grasp it. Somehow they fumble. Somehow they don't see individuals...One of the responses I had received was, " there are two of you!"

In all those moments of my life, when I had to stand while being peered at, I wished we were not twins. At least, they would think us less "weird". At least, they would behave normally around us, call us by our names instead of "whatever", not start playing the game spot-the-difference....Twins all over the world have to live with this through their life.

FOr all other times, I have loved it. It is like being sent to this planet, with a friend, philosopher and guide. God's insurance and back-up for my loneliness. I have often wondered, whether He had wanted people looking alike to be always together....
I think yes. The severity of the pain of separation is what distinguishes twins from normal siblings.

Twins is not equal to clones. In clones, it 100% match. Yes, then, there are two of the same. I guess, till clones come into this world, people will think Twins to be non-individuals.

The 1% difference is manisfested in several ways. The way we would interpret what someone says, the way we would respond to people (there are those friends of ours who have always felt more closer to one of us than the other).
Now when we are separated by thousands of miles, it feels like an unique experience to be considered as an individual. No staring, no nudging and pointing - Yes, it feels great!
For the first time, there are groups of people in my life who have no clue that I have a twin. Both of us now have different worlds. Much like a Venn Diagram - two circles of friends, where the intersection area is fast diminishing.

What has always interested me more are those people who know us so well, to say with certainty that we re completely different individuals. Besides me, I think they would agree -

Everything is not the same. It starts with the name.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

"What you don't know cannot hurt you."

This proverb was learnt by me when I was in school. Among the several idioms, figures of speech and other proverbs, I learnt this too. As a kid, you took the word of elders to be writings carved in stone. You do not question. Merely accept. Similarly for me...I never bothered to question. Not my teacher, but myself.
Did I agree with this? Did I have any experience to support the truth or rididule the proverb?

One of the wonders of growing up is that you start to be more sceptical. Things which would have sounded normal to a kid are met with "really?" from an adult. That is how it is with me right now. So I started thinking on the validity and relevance of this proverb in my life.

The proverb is partially true...If I don't know what I don't know, it is true it does not hurt. But my actions without this knowledge will hurt. Statistically put - there is nothing called truth, only an approximation of what is real and true at a particular moment in time. So when I learn something, depending on the severity and importance of that information, it hurts. But, my actions post that don't hurt - neither me / others.

For me the question is - what I don't know cannot hurt me, for how long? If truth will out...this proverb just delays the inevitable.
Reminds me something that Sanjay Dutt said post the 6 years RI verdict - at least, now I know....

Take care....and find out!
I told you that I stay in Kolkata...that I had been born here and spent my schooling years in this city.
Now that I work here, the way I look at this city has changed...the reason that gave me immense joy as a child does not hold when I am an adult.
Today is a strike. The ubiquitous "bandh" that Kolkata observes in protest of anything that anyone feels is wrong. So, the autos/taxis don't ply...and the office-goers are left in the lurch to fend for themselves. I am one of them.
When in school, I would be sure of the blue bus coming to pick me up at the appointed hour.
Or, school being closed. The story now is completely different.

I am reading Harry Potter, the last of the series. Wonderfully written, it ignites the imagination through each chapter - as Harry races to find the horcruxes, so does my imagination. I have always enjoyed the book much more than the movie.
A movie is a standard product - made by an invidual and meant to serve the masses equally.
A book is a customized product - in the sense, that each reader is free to imagine Harry as s/he wants to... I make my own movie in my mind.

Getting home early leaves me time to reflect...and several thoughts cross my mind. One of them is the weirdness of the concept of love. In love, an individual expects to be liked by someone completely alien for reasons that s/he doesn't believe can be true. The world is weird and I have a long way to go before I find the answers to most questions bubbling in my head.

Take care,

Monday, August 06, 2007

Happy Friendship Day!!!

The day dawned bright and clear. No rain, thankfully.
My company seems to hold this day in high regard. They booked an Audi in a nearby multiplex for the morning screening of "Cash" for all employees.

The movie lacked story, was too flashy and definitely lacked coherence. The only bright part was the fact that I was with my friend (uncle's daughter) and we could share our anguish on being subjected to dances of "mindblowing mahiya", puzzling relationship between the crook and the policewoman and several other wonders.

My biggest achievement on this day was to have made a new friend [:D]

Reading the benefits of having friends in the newspaper, I couldn't agree more to how much they fill our lives, cheer our moods and make us smile when the world seems rude.

They fill a space, that you never knew was there,
They are sometimes sweet, sometimes blunt...but always fair.
They cheer our mood when the world seems rude...
Old ones make us see how far we've gone,
The new ones spur us to move further along.