A break from this bheja fry was evident and so a skim through my work schedule was made just to fit a walk to the univ bank. With every chew of the early-taken chewing gum, every blocked issue in the mind started to seep out. Eventually, the acidity of the thought-burden increased along with the juicy gum flavored salivation. As I crossed the most fluid-dynamically challenged model of a gusty path between two buildings, I retracted back into the product of intellectual aggravation for emotional dampening.
As I fiddled through the pocketed contents of my sweat shirt, I felt the silver wrapper. Cloaking the lost-in-translation-extremely-dried-and-rigid-gum with the wrapper, I searched for a trash bin. There, standing in bold black was the bin. Was it the univ's awesome basketball season or was it mere deviation from normalcy, I don't know, the involuntary head amalgamated a series of serious issues with the ever so undependable physical ability into a final wager equation that had an If Not command.
If I can throw this silvery trash exactly through the bins rectangular side opening, then so-and-so would happen. If not, then I'm very well screwed. Forgetting the wind velocity as a vital parameter, I gulped the instant the shot was attempted. As my eyes focused on the twinkling wrapped ball of gum shearing its way through the wind, I felt "Uh Oh!" A milli second later, my heart leaped with joy like a munchkin celebrating the birthday in Chucky Cheese. The ball passed rimless through the opening. "Instinctively both my arms were going up in celebration". But then.... my 1 million watt victory face-bulb fused into a frown as I saw the piled up trash inside the bin repelling the ball to the other side. Like a neutron squeezing its way out of the nucleus and the electron cloud for instigating a chain reaction, the silver gum found its way through the opening on the other side of the bin. And the instigated chain reaction was, "Was it If or If-not? Crap! Both occurred"
Instead of the unsatisfied mind playing tricks on guessing a solution, a void formed inside me. The only way it got filled was by a sudden surge of extreme happiness. And the reason for this glee was that the whole random event was silly. The rest of the bank job was; as the Italian from Malta would phrase - "Piss in ze 'ead" :D
Here's another silly hit - Today marks the fourth anniversary of me making a living in the hall [9 different apts and never had a room for myself or a bedroom shared with someone else. Never complained, and so feeling extremely content. Interesting warm memory - Exactly 4 yrs and 1 day ago I spent the cold winter night sleeping on a park bench. How silly!! =)) ]
(A sillier comment 24 hrs later - I might try this song on my next karaoke night. And I'll bow to all those ppl who can sing this song without any tongue-twisting-blabber....)
Man vs Munchkins - Listen to yourselves
Thanks to a friendship I was initiated at several months ago, a responsible dad called me on an emergency. Clad in sweat pants and an AC Milan Tee, I had to tackle a 6 yr munchkin with her 4 yr old brother for the next four hours. Although, most of the fun activities of baby sitting involved a certain amount of gyration with me being the pivotal center and they being the centrifugal weights, the tired souls (including me) had their moments by listening to stories from an inexperienced wizard (When was the last time I told a story to Jay? And did I ever tell him a magical story?). A boy initiated food fight (For Pete's sake, who the heck invented spaghetti?) followed by a girl initiated pillow fight (Bless the soul that found cotton and who stuffed it into teddy bears) made my job easy to put the tired ones to bed.
As my focus shifted from the card pyramid to the hypnotic tik tok tik tok sound of the wall clock, I heard him cry. Running upstairs, I figured out that Mr. Munchkin had wet his sheets. Thanks to the help from his sis, we changed him into his other pajamas. 'Look who's talking' comments with them informed me that he is scared of darkness and does not like his door to be shut at nights. Was it the nightmarish cookie monster he imagined from his closet, he was in no mood to sleep or make me go away. After consenting from both his parents, I dressed them up for a walk. Yes you heard it right, I took them on a walk around the neighborhood past their usual bedtime.
A lil princess carrying a pinkish umbrella about her size on one side, a bubbly candidate of a warrior having his head underneath a transparent raincoat hood, a short road lit by sodium vapors on one side, a greenish pined garden on the other, a slight drizzle of 11 degree C rain, the road filled with a mosaic of puddles, and of course, the warrior and the princess clasping on to my pinkies with their hands, and finally, laughing at me for getting drenched in spite of a tugged family sized umbrella was a heaven in guise. After all the splashes created by the jumping beans got messy, we reached the corner.
As the road beyond the intersection seemed darker, I went crouched at the warrior. After one of those special on time Man to Munchkin talks, I saw him unclasp my hand and started running into the dark. As I and the princess covered the space we gifted him in the first place, we saw him smiling wide with the childish grunt of happiness he sounded. Then I asked him, "Where you scared XYZ?" He replied, "(Nodded his head in agreement)But, but.... Then I jumped up and down, up and down the water. Then Buzz shot the monster with my laser (and he pointed his left forearm)" The lil princess radiated with a girlish giggle as she understood for her age that our plan worked. I smiled back at her. I walked through heavens door one more time and we reached back home.
I snugged the warrior along with Buzz on his side and also gave him Ironside Transformers to keep near him. As I walked out to put the princess to sleep, Mr. Kemp Jr asked me to shut the door. I couldn't be happier than that moment. But, yet again, I was proven wrong as Ms. Carla Jr radiated yet another girlish giggle and made me tuck her into her bed. After a dinner of the baby sitting highlights over left over spaghetti and meatballs, I thanked Carla and Kemp on dropping me back home.
I entered my apartment to see several drunk guys dancing to this. The rest of the late Friday was spent on controlling a few insolent babies by using their controlling factors (Restroom mirror, Puja room, and the most common factor of all - a call to the girl friend) =))
Several lessons we teach to kids are the self lessons we need to remember. I guess, I need to listen more to the elder me being a childish myself. :D
The Jokes on Who?
1. All with the exception of just I (me/I, who cares!!), say that with 3 papers, 1 book chapter and a technically sound batch of nanocharacterization and synthesis methods under my belt; I am all set to go good with getting a post doc position. How come I'm the only one remaining over-cautious/over-achieving? Difference between Idiotic and Craziness is to be outlined.
2. Every significant step from the academic/career perspective of life (right from choosing Engg/Medicine, under grad Alma Mater, jingling job/wise grad apps with their subcategories) brought its own pre-goosebumps and post-air punches. Heck, they even came with their scares of a foggy destiny with a road lesser than less traveled. Although, I (/even we) went through the heat, the past now seems to be passed like a sharp knife cutting through soft butter (the heat being the accelerator). What seems different of the so called one more big step in life from its predecessors is that, the new one has a "relative deadline". There is no specific date for a final exam/interview call/visa date/24 hr crisis meet as such. Either I can set a deadline and risk getting into the big schools or extend my plans and glee out into the famous work achieving schools. A relative deadline relative to my (including personal) requirements is needed urgently.
3. With points 1 & 2 nearly zombifying me into a serious workaholic (for paltry reasons of "This might well be my last chance to see what's important for my career in life"), I've decided to take things the simple and effective way - Chilling balances working (Time to boost that chat history back to original averages with some catch-up). So, here's a new attitudinal blogpage - I see solitude in observing a distant destiny blocked with an upstream-effort-needing ocean. Solitude gives rise to my planning.
And now for the real reason for the post - Switching from career targeted life to diagnostic personal life: (With the sibling and his family starting first conversations of settling in India once and for all, I'd got nothing to loose)
Statement A - I found the right girl......
Statement B - I also found, that I am not the right guy for her.....
Situation - Both statements were used (in under a couple of minutes) at both my parents during their two different 'quality-time-on-the-phone-with-son-alone' times.
Stmt A brought a great deal of grief to mom, while dad was all excited (and proud too :D ).....
Stmt B brought extreme sadness to dad (marked by a minutes silence), while mom had a transition from "I am sorry" concern to "I still have a chance to find him a girl" hope.... :))
After a day of leaving them alone to talk among themselves, I used statement C "It was all a joke :) " to curtail their plans to give me some space.
Now the real question is, The joke's on me/'em/the joke?
Here are a few tunes that seeped a flood through the dam of concentration
1. Once by Caleb Kane
2. Honey, Let me sing you a song by Matt Hires
3. Stockwell Road by John Matthias &
4. Aunana Kadana from Leader
Worthy of a Loser
There was a certain anger in me that proved to be my motivation. It kept me work an extra two-three hours the day before the court hearings and walk through the thick and thin of the ever changing weather, down and up through downtown. But the most important part of my involvement in this regards was the "F***!! I am not giving up that easily" feeling of confidence. It made me contact a few notable business and law faculty and their students and made new friends. Eventually, I learned the fact that knowing your law is important. Interestingly I spent more time in the law library, both in the university and in the district court, reading through dockets than the sum of all time I spent in any library, in my life, ever :D.
Today I had my second hearing in the morning. The first 10 minutes was a disaster with the opponent attorney coming up with all the jargoned reasons, which I had no clue of how to handle. Thanks to my forging attempts to keep the case open unlike most other defendants, I was offered a question. Ceasing the opportunity, I submitted an evidence of a photograph, which I took using my i-phone for a twitter update as a joke (I used this a month and a half before, to re-open the case and null my garnishment and the previous judgement). The trigger had been pressed and I went full fledged into the discrepancies of the case. 20 minutes later (And most idiots told me that no civil case goes more than 15 minutes in a single hearing), I gave a copy of a handwritten calculation that had formulae of simple interest and compound interest. Math anxiety or not, I had to explain the whole purpose of that calculation to the honorable judge (Hey, she respected my attempts and took her time to understand the calculations). More discrepancies. Finally, the judge leaned on my side. She started working on the final judgement summary.
The opponent attorney looked at me in despise and started playing around with more jargons. Had I given to his act, I would have lost (coz the judge started to talk with him in his own slang, and believe me or not, she looked like switching sides). But, I stopped the judge and said, "Pardon me for my rudeness Ma'am. Let me say this clear! I am entitled to pay a certain amount to the plaintiff, which I was ready to pay in 07. We can get that proof from the monitored recorded phone conversations. It was entirely their mistake with regards to whatever the case is currently on. Frankly saying, I do want to pay them off the money I owe them. And I am ready to do so in monthly instalments, starting right away. Being a PhD student, I do not have the money to hire an attorney or the time to drag the case. But I did spend time on this case, since I believed that justice was on my side. And as per me, justice in this regards is paying them only the money I owe."
When I said 'touched' in the first statement of the post, I did not just say it. I meant it. The judge looked at me, asked a few more simple questions, smiled and said, "Sir... Take your blackberry or whatever you have and do this calculation". Her smile broadened with a slight sound as I took my scientific calculator from the bag and waited for the instructions. Two minutes later, the display blurted out a certain number that was at least 35% less than what I owe (Heck! I saved about 75% if I had lost the case). A few words of wisdom was shared by the judge (which was mostly on informing me that I shouldn't be honest on all circumstances) and of course there were some snarls from the attorney.
As the cold chilly snow hit my face 5 minutes later, I felt a burden off my shoulder. I felt warm. Above all, I felt 'Worth the effort!'
Nearly, half a day later, I looked at my bank balance. Fortunately for my opinions on money and it's role in life, I am not sad. Unfortunately, the fact that I have lived on the edge of finance all my PhD career, since I cared does not bring any happy feelings. Somehow this feeling is creeping its way into the bucket of "How come a certain distance occurs and grows between me and the people I care the most?"
For the first time I am having doubts of pursuing a road that leads to my career goal instead of the one that roofs in with money. Should my motivation be anger or confidence? I don't know. All I feel from inside is, at times, there is a certain L on my forehead..... L:-|
Kaisa hai ghum, bolon na tum hoton se
........ freedom to express wants to be silent coz the true world around me likes to be silent.
Well, here is the gist of what the real rant post was never on (Jack stays in the Box and so does his draft on self assertion. Near 24 hours of the real rant being online is enough to stir some minds). It was time that I had to be hit with realistic facts on my inner personality. Anyways, the interesting things that I managed to squeeze out over the last week of confused clarity are as follows -
1. I managed to stay awake after the very first voicemail of an alarm by pitching the night dress clad self out the front door in the poking winter weather. Hey, it's a great wake up call.
2. I've managed to focus on one of the the pupils of my eye by standing close to the mirror (with the light coming from the mirror top) and fiddle around with the constriction and expansion. Believe me, it's the refreshing sight early in the morning (PS - Narcissistically saying, brown eyes are interesting to watch)
3. Every time, I walk in the milky white wintry world, I bow in respect looking at the green grass. It seems to be the most resilient living thing that remains the same through out the year. (Trees are big and shed to survive. Pines don't shed, but their leaves fail to grow. On the other hand, grass are bullies that still grow in harsh weather)
4. Met a group of technically smart under grads (hard to find in this country), who were excited enough to invite me for their second annual Frozen Canon Ball event. I ended up being the first nerdy grad student to jump in a 6 feet deep pool with a cracked 17 cm ice layer. Blowdryers - $30. Firemen axe - $90. Warm blanket - $40. Staying in sub zero waters for near hypothermia minutes (4-5 mins) - priceless. Been cared by the next in line few bikini clad girls and still feeling normal - Unbelievably priceless :D. Once in a lifetime must do experience.
5. I did my first ever helping an old lady cross the road in my life. After effects - A good warm smile for the winter weather.
6. I celebrated my two year anniversary of zero speeding tickets in spite of extending my annual average speed from 82-89 mph (The suspension was due to drunk passengers and an error in my house address) by completing my first ever 7 mile jog. (Btw, I do keep track of my miles and time of travel. So statistically saying, the numbers are true :D )
7. The demise of the sibling's close friend on New Year kept me on the phone for consolation and thanks to it, I spent a week on clarity of inner self. Now I know more of me than what I did before.
Hmmm..... The mind is back on the clarity of confusion. I'll pass into the freedom of silent expression.
O Meri Jaan (whose piano note was mastered by trial and error method using a friends keyboard in under 20 mins. A very focussed 20 mins off the stirring mind) and Dil to Baccha hai Ji are the picks of the week in the mean time. Enjoy
The new decade is all about, "What can I be"**
(*Change is an inevitable but slow process. Adaptation ain't.
**The wrath of freedom lies in the flexibility of failure)