Monday, June 27, 2005

Ode to the nice guy

This is something a friend sent me after we had this whole conversation about someone I described as a "nice" guy. She had this wry smile on her face and told me she will send me this write up. She kept her promise and here it is. I think it is a very well written piece and though humorous,drives home the point quite well..:)

(I am not sure if I can reproduce it here because its from a journal)

There are female equivalents of nice guys too. The type who constantly get described as "oh she is a guy" or "you should have been born a guy!!" and though at different levels, these nice girls go through about the same as the nice guys! What say?

Monday, June 20, 2005



Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

-- W.S. Merwin

A poem which I read somewhere and a poem that caused me to look up everything else by the poet. But more importantly, a poem that caught me unawares. A poem that talks positively of separation. A poem that doesn't sensationalise the point at which a relationship between two people changes because there is a distance between them.

To me it is positive because it acknowledges that every interaction adds color to one's life. Every relationship teaches you how not to behave..:)

I love the use of words in this one. While it puts across that the separation has been hard (" gone through me") it recovers immediately with everything i do is stiched with its color. All of us have friends that we have parted ways with, physically or emotionally. There are some that make such lasting impacts that meeting them after a gap of 5,10 or 20 years making little or no difference to the comfort levels you feel with them. There is this zone that belongs only to the two of you and remains guarded.....for life.

Which brings me to something I had a conversation about with a friend yesterday. Is it possible to love somebody without expecting anything in return? Lets stick to platonic relationships only. Why is it important that if you think someone is a very dear friend, that someone should feel the same way about you? Isn't it enough how much happiness you are getting by simply liking that someone that much?

That was our line of discussion and I have no answers. But I have found that the people I believe are good friends are all friends made with little or no expectations. But then of course, the definition of an expectation might have been very different when we did become friends. I don't know!

P.S. One interesting thing about Merwin is that his translations of Neruda are really good. This poem isn't such a wonder any more is it??

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Infinity of Calculus!

Like most not-so-bright-at-maths kids, my school years were plagued constantly by "just-passed" marks in Maths. Just when I was getting used to it, Calculus happened!!! The little self confidence I had managed to salvage out of the wreck of my Class 10 board exams got buried right at the bottom in class 11 with wonderful calculus making a grand entry.

I always felt really dumb around people who were smart enough to pretend that they understood what was happening in class..:) But recently something happened that revived my calculus confidence. All those curses hurled at poor Newton hadn't gone in vein after all. The incident I am referring to is an interview conducted in my father's office while I happened to be there.

On one of those days when my father was consumed, almost wholly, by the pangs of jealousy he felt when he saw me sprawled on the sofa in front of the TV, he ordered me to get ready fast and come to the office with him. There was an interview and my job was to co-ordinate the whole thing(read do the peon's job of calling the next interviewee)

Anyways, so in came Mr.X ( for the sake of anonimity ), a fresher from ABC Engineering College ( for the sake of saving ABC from terrible embarassment). After the usual formalities and showing off his certificate of distinction he sat down. The rest of the interview lasted for about 2 mins and went something like this:

Dad :(smiling reassuringly at X, who was looking very worried) What is the integral of 1/x.

Mr.X : (takes a second to think ,looks up, a triumphant smile wiping away all the worry lines, and announces) INFINITY

Me :(looking intently at Dad to see if he gets the someone-is-dumber-that-my-daughter-at-this relief look on his face)

Dad : (trying hard to not fall off his chair but regaining his composure just in time ) Can you explain how you get that?

Said Mr.X, hardly able to contain his excitement: Sir, the integral of x to the power n is x to the power n+1 divided by n+1. 1/x means x to the power -1, so by the rule the integral has a 0 in the denominator and so the answer is INFINITY!!!


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Wannabe Somebody

Emily Dickinson puts it rather well when she says:

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you--Nobody--Too?
Then there's a pair of us?
Don't tell! they'd advertise--you know!

How dreary--to be--Somebody!
How public--like a Frog--
To tell one's name--the livelong June--
To an admiring Bog!
The real world expects all of us to be "somebodys" or atleast state an ambition to that effect. Why is there this need for recognition? Is it because we are not comfortable with ourselves? If we are indeed comfortable then why this need for outside endorsement?

Of course, all this applies to talented people. What of the untalented? Why are they under the constant pressure of having to prove one talent or the other? Can't someone be plain untalented? Why can we never accept these things?

Then of course there are people who are comfortable with being nobodys and the wannabe somebody world calls them LAZY!!!