Saturday, August 22, 2009
Many have had a college education associated with a prestigious university but few of us have had the good fortune of attending a prestigious university... But have we ever asked ourselves why it was named a university and not something else? Something like “Teacademia” or maybe more obscure as “Nerdtown”?
In my opinion, university stands for many things, some of the more etymological ones are:
1) Universal City
2) Universe In The Youth
3) And one of my favorite –Unity in Diversity.
University is the place where you become who you really are. It is where you realize your potential and your power. It is the place where no mater from where you are, from what background you come, what language you speak , what religion you follow, what is your ideology…., everything melts away and merges with the common thread .. the thread of pursuit of knowledge and in the unwinding of that thread possibly to understand oneself better.
Where nothing matters but your prowess. Your passion for excelling in your chosen field of pursuit, for fulfilling the many dreams that you have woven and strike every second of every day to achieve. An ideal university is a place where everything and everyone however diverse are united as one.
I have had a good fortune of being in such a university.
I have met people with whom I do not see eye to eye with, professors whom I would like nothing better but misfortune to fall, situations I would rather not put myself into, deadlines that none can meet, languages that many can’t understand, incidents that you wish shouldn’t have occurred., decisions that seem very unfair....
But I have also met people whom I know I would remember all my life, people who are so like me that you don’t need to speak for them to understand, people who have become an essential part of your existence and maybe someone for whom you have become a reason to live. Professors who have the divine power of instilling in you, the same lust, thirst, passion, and fury that made them pursue the same course, situations that I have waited all my life to come to fruitition, incidents that have changed the course of your life, your beliefs and shattered your rose colored glasses, and making decisions which you never regret in your life.
But that’s life. You have your own good and bad days. But that’s what makes us realize who we really are in positive or in adverse situation.
In one sense, university is a place which makes you united .. with yourself and with others. You enter it as a person who has many ideas about what to do and what not to do, you have diverse ideologies and thinking, you really don’t understand who you really are, something like water being spread over the ground. It goes where it finds least resistance.
But the alma mater has the task of collecting that water and turning it into an icicle. That will stand tall and firm.
I have had many regrets in the years I have been here. But I don’t have any regrets about feeling those regrets. Because I am what I am because of that.
I pay my tribute, homage and obeisance to the place where I found myself.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
So hi again.... its been a while since I got my hands dipped in ink or rather on the dirty keyboard.
Things have been moving around more swiftly than usual and also have slowed down in a way. So didnt have a chance to come and keep this one updated. But I guess now that am here and have things on my mind let me add another strand of memory and thought to my pensieve.
I recently turned 21 and it suddenly dawned on me that "Hey, you can drink now. You can marry now. You can stand in elections and you can have a proper job."
And I was like "Wow, are we there ?" Has time played its usual trick and made my life fast forward? or have I been sleeping like the Hare while Time(the turtle) passed me by?
Have we come to that stage that we only used to see as a distant scenario... never realizing that we were on a heads-on collision path with it? My.... what a collision it has been.
I still remember the days when we used to make jokes about marriages, drinking, office humours and political puns. And in many ways we still are stuck with many such jokes and still take pleasure in them.
But the bigger question might be " Now that we are here, where do we go? what do we do? "
We always say "Life is a journey" . I agree with that. But even a journey has some stop in the middle where you pause and revitalize yourself. The places where you sit and decide your next stop and the best route to take and the things you would require etc..
Maybe the sudden realizations that you no longer the "cool teenager" but a "responsible young adult" are the catalysts that force you to pause and collect yourself for the next stage of the journey?
Like for example, I still remember when we were more concerned about getting the best softwares for free from the net and used a lot of services which we took for granted. We thought of computers as a mode of having fun and staying in touch with one another.
But suddenly, its the same you , you who are trying to get a job at the same company whose software fills your computer. You, who now see the computer as a world in itself and are given the task of exploring new vistas , and untapped , undiscovered areas. Its the same you, who now has to make the games for others, the same which you used to enjoy. Now your the person who would be offering the service for others to use.
These changes are so subtle and discrete, that you wouldnt know the shifting priorities till it came from behind you and hollered into you ears "BOOOO". And then you really open your eyes and look back and see how long you have come and how it is time now to don a new mantle, a new hat and a new goal.
But then most of us are so ensconed, cuddled and cocooned in our lives that we hardly pause for a breathe of fresh air when walking by a garden on our way to office.
Well... I had a frightful awakening this time..and now we have to go again on the new path till another pause comes. Would I be awake and waiting by the finish line for it? Or would I be still sleeping and again be woken by a loud "BOOOO", that only Time can tell. But then how can you trust time when its your opponent :)
Well.. all I know at the moment is "I am Here and Now". And thats all the matters.
P.S This post was inspired by a somewhat similar post by a colleague of mine Vijitha called "Bedlam broke loose - Right inside my head".
This is a short description on how idiosyncratic the English language it. I havent written it. I just found it on the web and wanted to share it. So here goes :
Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
In what other language do people drive in a parkway and park in a driveway?
Why does night fall but never break and day break but never fall?
Why is it that when we transport something by car, it's called a shipment, but when we transport something by ship, it's called cargo?
Why are people who ride motorcycles called bikers and people who ride bikes called cyclists?
In what other language do thay call the third hand on the clock the second hand?
Why is it called a TV set when you get only one?
Why - in our crazy language - can your nose run and your feet smell?
Sometimes you have to believe that all English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane:
If olive oil is made of olives, what do they make baby oil from?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian consume?
A writer is someone who writes, and a stinger is something that stings.
But fingers don't fing and grocers don't groce.
If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn't the plural of booth be beeth?
If the teacher taught, why isn't it also true that the preacher praught?
If harmless actions are the opposite of harmful actions, why are shameless and shameful behavior the same?
English is a language in which you can turn a light on and you can turn a light off and you can turn a light out, but you can't turn a light in;
In which the sun comes up and goes down, but prices go up and come down.
In which your nose can simultaneously burn up and burn down and your car can slow up and slow down, in which you can fill in a form by filling out a form and in which your alarm clock goes off by going on.
English is a crazy language. What is it that when the sun or the moon or the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible?; and why when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I shall end it?