A Life without Colors

Neil Harbisson's interesting life story in his recent TEDx lecture got me thinking. Partially because he has adopted an amazing solution, and partially because a close friend of mine shares his fate with him.

No, no, my friend is not completely colorblind but he has a certain kind of red-green color blindness which renders him incapable of appreciating certain flowery and colorful things which are freely accessible to every one else. Observation of such a handicap makes me wonder if these color blind individuals or even completely blind people are in someway experiencing a lesser life than those who are more fortunate (and probably ungrateful of their gifts)? But then, isn't experience a subjective matter? Who am I to judge anyone or anything but myself?

To resolve this matter, I summoned courage to ask my friend if he ever felt less fortunate due to his color blindness. He laughed at once, and then replied in a serious tone,

"No, not at all! In fact, I see it an positive way. I feel fortunate that I'm shielded from all that is false and rich, and I'm genetically lured towards all that is real and grey."

Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012, and this post is the part of the Idea Caravan contest hosted by Indiblogger. 


On Growing Old

I turned 24 years old today. This obvious marker of my days spent here in this world somehow brings a sense of loss. There's a loss of time, a loss of things that once were and would never be again the same.  It forced me to look at those old pictures of me, when I was young and happy, only an year ago, and that certainly brings a temporary gush of happiness.

I don't know why but this huge, pale cloud has cast a shadow over my faculties since I woke up in the morning. I can't seem to find the source of the mist that has darkened my sky. There is this strong sense of being lost, or loosing something that was perhaps within my grasp. Why haven't I achieved those lofty goals that I've always aimed for? Or, why, if I have achieved them albeit partially, I don't feel glad about it? Importantly, why can't I simply cherish what I have?

The above is of course the first reason that has triggered my emotional self and allowed me to deviate from my busy schedule and write a post. And the second is possibly the busy schedule itself. Yes, I think the regularity of my work routine even on my auspicious, 'happy b'day' has a hand in spoiling it somewhat. Of all the days, at least to-day I should do what I scarcely find time do it, and not read these darn scientific articles! To hell with them.

Ah! I shall read a book. A fine book it shall be. Gifted by my dear sibling, 'Ernest Hemingway on writing', my b'day present. The finest of all.

(Having written this, I feel much better. Writing is certainly a potent remedy for all kinds of sickness.)

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Current Book: Ernest Hemingway on Writing
Current Music: 'Bad Romance' by Lady Gaga (Happy b'day Gaga. <3)

A passage to India

I recently finished reading 'A passage to India' by E. M. Forster and I'm still not quite sure if I've completely parted from the book and its beauty. If I put it plainly, I do not consider Forster as a mere writer. He is more of a musician. He creates a symphony with words, and every part of the novel is part of this rich song that echoes in your mind time and again.

The plot of the novel is quite straightforward, and basically follows the racial tensions between the brown and white skins in a colonized India, when a muslim doctor is accused of sexually assaulting a British lady. While the plot and the characters were certainly charming, it's the overall environment of the book, the kind of India that it paints, was the most intriguing aspect to me.

And I read this while I was returning from a trip to India, on my way back to Europe. So this transition from East to West probably exaggerated the effect. The first few days I was back in Europe, I could not help but notice the aching stillness, and emptiness that suffocated the entire culture. How lifeless is life around here, in the developed part of the world! 

But as time passed, I found myself accustomed to the modern, individualistic and high standard of living, forgetting the charms of my own poor land behind.

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Current Book: "Tender is the night" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Current Music: "Thrift Shop" Macklemore (this is fucking awesome... :)

A Whirlpool of Dust


It has been a while since I blogged here. Not because I had nothing to write about, it’s just that I’ve been…I’ve been…a bit distracted, yes distracted, if I must choose a word to describe my past situation. A situation that appears rather queer to me in retrospect – even now, I can see myself, my own image, in the past month, struggling and running after things that once mattered so little.

And now when I come back to this blog, my altar of art, it feels like I’m opening the rickety door to an old forgotten home, where the smell of stagnancy and growth of cobwebs is abundant and unrestricted. But how rotten it may look, a home is always a home, a nice place to fall back to, a step back to normalcy. Where one can relax on a armchair placed against the fireplace, and wonder how did one allow the dust to gather, remembering things that once were, that have been, and those that have evolved.

It’s not a long time ago when I was in my bachelors degree program, and I remember precisely how I used to not care about superfluous things like academics and grades and so on. In that phase of my life, it used to be a moment of great satisfaction, no, a great joy, to be honest, when I used to pass a course. Passing a course, fulfilling the minimum requirements in any given subject was on my agenda, and of course, I had higher ambitions on other things, things that had nothing to do with studies. And now? My standards have evolved tremendously. I get fits of heart attacks, on scoring a grade that is second to the best. Getting the best grade is often the priority now. Perhaps things haven’t really evolved as they appear to be. They have been always the same. It’s just the priorities that have undergone major reorganization. Now, at this age, all I want from my life is that I would like to be a scientist.

Ah, this maddening lust for excellency, this, this unsustainable desire for perfection, would really destroy me one day. And what shall become of the artist that smolders within this hollow core of science? That, I don’t know. Only if someone could cure me from this horrible disease of inspiration. And only then, there shall not be any cobwebs.

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Current Book: "For whom the bell tolls" by Ernest Hemingway
Current Music: "Chak de India" title song

"Nascent passion": My entry for the Get Published contest


The Idea
The story is about a young couple, new to the world of dating whose love is portrayed in the very urban times of India. Every event in the story, ranging from their first meeting to their first kiss is a moment of thrill for them.  The story highlights the development of nascent passion in two younglings which grows into an uncontrolled vista of love.

What Makes This Story ‘Real’
It’s a story that a close friend has narrated to me, and I was able to build upon some parts of it.

Extract 
His vibrating cellphone under the pillow blurred his dreams and woke him into the reality. The scratched screen blinked madly and revealed 3:51 A.M.

It was time.

He rubbed his eyes, exited his comforter with much effort, and placed his feet on the floor below with a quick swinging motion to jolt himself up. The floor felt cold, even through his woolen socks. Grimacing, he threw back a handful of hair that blocked his vision and staggered towards the door.

Outside, the hostel's corridor was desolate with most of the hostellers deep in sleep with their rooms locked and lights off. Some of the rooms were still lit as their doors were lined with yellow light, pushing itself out in the dark night. Newspapers, soda cans swept the corridor that led to the bathroom. He almost made his mind to go back at once and rest a bit more. He finished on phone with her last night around 2 A.M. He needed more sleep.

But no, he went on. He began with brushing. And brushed twice. It mattered. There was no hot water for him to take a bath in this cold weather. He could try to check the geysers on other floors of the hostel but he was getting late. It was 4:20 A.M. and the direct bus to his dating destination left in a couple of minutes from now. And cold water, was what, he poured on his bare chest.

Carefully checking around four times that he had picked all the gifts that he need to carry with him, he bolted his door and nearly ran to the hostel's exit. The guard lay snoring on his seat and took no notice as a shadow passed into the night. (Story continues here)

Endnote: This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal andHarperCollins India.

If you like the idea, please like it here! http://www.indiblogger.in/getpublished/idea/283

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