Thoughts & Reflections

Think beautiful, live beautiful.

Wonder Why !!

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  1. Wonder why do we discriminate against women when we are born from one ?
  2. Wonder why people get so close (physically) and yet remain so far (emotionally) ?
  3. Wonder why can’t I bath in rain, and yet have to shower everyday ?
  4. Wonder why do we not understand our parents unless we become one ?
  5. Wonder why was love “eternal” yet our relationship “ephemeral” ?
  6. Wonder why do we live in crowds and are yet so lonely ?
  7. Wonder why everything that is so healthy so tasteless ?
  8. Wonder why do we discriminate when everyone is a child of the God ?
  9. Wonder why do we miss our loved ones, only when they are gone ?
  10. Wonder why do we become strangers with ones we loved so dearly ?

She

she

Her touch, like tranquility in oneness,
Her presence, like peace in calmness.
Her smile, like million starts that shine,
Her smell, like rose petals in an old wine.


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Distant Love

She cries in pain, in anger, in sorrow,
For her love to return, to a lovely morrow.
And days seem to trudge, slower every day,
She remembers moments, with love and gay.

“Aha !! I wish, I wish you were here,
In arms of your love, to wipe every tear.”
She words these verses, to friends and foe,
As sings her story, with gaiety and woe.

The wait so tiring, so troublesome to her,
She tries in vain, the sadness it incurs.
She shuts her eyes, to memories of past,
Reliving emotions, if moments could last.

Her eyes now shut, it brings them close,
As distances fade, to the love they chose.
Memories made, with love of myriad shades,
Bringing her to joy, as her sadness fades.

Dedicated to one who knows 🙂

Of Randomness and free will

An interesting dinner conversation with a physics and a computer networking graduate student led me to write this rather abstract article today. The topic of discussion was whether there exists free will or not. We discussed basically two aspects of the question. One of the viewpoints (that I supported) was that if the universe is made up of fundamental particles that follow certain well defined sets of laws, then perhaps the universe is governed by a set of stringent deterministic and completely predictable rules. This would imply that our actions are all predestined and thereby the notion of destiny may not be a hokum. Perhaps, we are supposed to fall in love with a certain person and we cannot control it :P. However, our current knowledge of fundamental particles (let’s say) says that laws of nature are not completely predictable. There is a lot of randomness (uncertainty) in the way particles behave. For example, we believe that a particle behaves more like a wave at a fundamental level and is probabilistically present in space. The question then arises is that whether the uncertainty is fundamental to particles i.e. is a particle really present at multiple places or is it the shortcoming of our model of understanding, tools etc. For example, can we really come up with a certain technique that would tell us with very high accuracy that a particle is present in a certain location for all practical purposes. If so, then the only remaining aspect we would need to know is that what were the initial conditions of the universe to be able to predict what is going to happen next.

Now, the trouble here is that we cannot for sure say that a certain initial condition is “the” initial condition for the universe could have been in very many different states at the outset. To overcome this problem one could imagine a finite set of initial conditions and then use the theory (let’s say the prediction function f()) to predict the outcome for each of the possible initial conditions. By observation we could eliminate the starting conditions that do not satisfy our observations to be left with a small set of practical initial states. However, we still cannot rule out randomness because (a) it may not be possible to have a finite set of conditions, (b) we may not be able to rule out all but one initial condition through our observations. Besides, it is evidently not clear that there are only finitely many variables in the theory. If there are infinite variables in the theory, then can that be called as randomness. In other words, is random fundamental to nature or just a shortcoming of our constructs.

The other view-point is that randomness may just be fundamental to the nature, and that there does not exist a fundamental theory that explains each and every phenomenon. Besides, even if get a theory working we cannot be sure that it is “the theory” since, the set of observations to be made are infinite (considering time to be infinite) and that to fit that to a curve is not experimentally possible.

The deeper question to ask is that given a black box that can compute a curve on an infinite number of data points, with infinite variables can randomness be 100% removed. Is randomness really a fundamental to our nature or is it just the lack of understanding of the laws of nature / limitations to our computation abilities / mathematical models that gives rise to randomness. To take an analogy, in a pragmatic world, we believe a coin toss to be a random event. Though, given the values of all the variables involved such as the air resistance, initial momentum of coin, the gravitational force, the nature of the coin. etc. one can surely calculate the number of rotations of the coin and thereby the result of the toss. For a coin toss, therefore, the statement that the result is probabilistic is because of a lack of observational factors that we do not account for. In a sense, the result of a coin toss is random, when at least one of the factors is unknown or the function of coin rotation (the theory of coin tosses) is unknown. Therefore, randomness (here) is a conditional notion and can be eliminated.

This leads to us to the question, if randomness can be accepted to be a conditional concept, then is free will too? Was I destined to write this article because of the initial state of the universe was state A and not state B? Is randomness, then, an effect of our understanding of nature (or rather the lack of it) rather than the causation of our conceptual understanding?

If randomness is a notion borne out of of the fact that the theory of nature just has too many variables, it might well be possible to progressively reduce the randomness through better understanding of the nature (thereby introducing more variables in the equation). It would then mean that as human race progresses and becomes more smarter the amount of determinism in our lives would increase. Can we thereby say that determinism is a much advanced state of existence than randomness ?

I believe, given an ideal world with infinite resources for computation a theory must be possible to predict our action and that randomness (thereby free will) is a conceptual way of accounting for the lack of understanding the complex nature.

The relationship-research similarity

Okay, so this is some set of observations that I have made over all these “lonely years” yearning for either of the two paths to lead to me to some kind of “success“. The rules of the game are similar.

In a relationship you start off by finding a soulmate, research is initiated by finding a research problemWhile the former involves meeting around a lot of girls, the former requires you to read up a lot of research articles (and I am pretty sure both are awfully complex). Once, you’ve met enough number of girls you figure out that they’ve already been hit upon by a large bunch of unloved dudes much better than you and you start giving up the fruitless venture. Oh, and then you read up papers and find yeah, a lot of those nasty researchers have been scarred by the same ideas.

 

The pickup line is kind of the whole birth-idea of the project, the idea that sells it and comes to bite you back later on. Neither any pickup line is ever a new one, and very rarely any successful idea is. You just need to find the right (sufficiently naive) audience (girl) to sell your idea to. That is what most of the smart dudes (researchers) are doing.

As you “progress” along comes the horrible struggle of surviving with the research problem and a girl (I imagine) is no less than that. There are peaks of happiness and continuous troughs of adjustments (read “utter-sorrows“). Eventually, you find the hidden issues with the problem and the relationship kind of goes haywire.

You then start talking to your friends (peers in the research community) and figure out, oh yes, even their relationships (ideas) are kind of screwed up as they swam into the sea. Then there are the parents, in-laws (the advising committee) to pacify, the girl to satisfy with her whims and fancies. Well the advisor would always believe either your problem or the path you took was wrong and parents (in India) are no different.

Eventually, you start running out of time for yourself. And start asking yourself is that what you really wanted. The dropout conundrum (breakup syndrome) is so common in the grad school that if you haven’t considered you have not faced the real music. There are thoughts of abandoning the research project since those other problems make you feel more simpler, up and until you try them. You start considering should I drop out (take a break) and then there are your married cousins, friends (all the graduated lot – I call them the rescuers) that advise you against it, not because that is going to make your life any happier, but because you have already screwed up big time and now there is no turning back. Getting a job at 30 is what it would be like getting a girl (in India) – and you realize the 22 year olds have already been there done that. So, a synthesized sense of satisfaction (or the perception of happiness) is what you start believing in and sail along the sea.

The social networking is parallel to your conferences/journal, where after a successful endeavor you “selectively” put forth what you managed to make a bunch of other losers even more unhappier and the likes/shares well those are more like the citations, no one really reads these papers yet one likes them so you read theirs too.

Eventually, the thesis is the marriage. Even if all your attempts fail your parents(read your advisor) pushes you off with the thesis and you are left wondering did I or didn’t I (of course, succeed)  ?

I would not really want to get into what a best paper would be similar to !!

(I guess I should get back hitting on ideas now :P)

 

Things never said

As years go by, the sweetness grows fonder,
Beautifying the memories, of love so yonder.
Ah move on, the soul cries, crippled by time,
And yet the heart keeps, the sound of love still a chime.

 

It’s time to go back to life, to unfulfilled dreams,
Beyond those sorrows, and emotional streams.
Move on, move beyond, a past so dead,
Of conversations that linger, and things never said.

Estranged entaglements

They say that love makes the world go round and that you never can realise what that feeling is without taking in a dive. I was non-believer a pro-logic person who would segregate every part of his life based on some reasonable explanation until a sudden feeling that turned my belief in these feelings upside down.  Love, I believe, as an emotion is one of the most powerful and true feeling. It may be because you are closer to the truth when in love with someone and truth is an absolute entity that encompasses our nature, our ideas, essentially our life.

The strangeness of the feeling is exacerbated by the understanding that the feeling unlike so many others does not subside away with time. What feels so strange to me is that people value the feeling coldly at times and I have a hard time understanding that why would someone not consider such an innate feeling, a feeling that connects you to the core with greater care. I find it hard that there are breakups, alienation, and estrangements amongst the loved ones on resolvable issues.

As for me, I had a very heart warming experience of that feeling, that created a refreshing sense of entanglement with a strange soul, an ephemerality of emotions that came and left behind a a long standing impression upon my life. I still try and resolve the enigma, the reason of the occurrence, of the withdrawal and therein I realize that somethings are better left unfathomed in life for there is beauty in feeling the lesser understood quirks of human emotions. While, the acceptance seeps in over time, the willingness to resolve fades away and what one is left is that perennial desire of filling in the incomplete, reliving that what got faded away in time.

It still amazes me how different people could at the same set of incidents, emotions in such a different light. For someone it could mean the whole world, while for someone it may not. Life, to me, is myriad in the way things unfold over time when you put in your belief, create a wonderful little world and yet never realizing that there are hidden factors that can ever break it in wiffy. In all the positiveness that is created out of these experiences, I think that even a certain phase of your truest emotions is a beautiful period of life to go through.

P.S. Well, this is the song that triggered me to write the above blog.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUSzL2leaFM

Here, go the lyrics:

It’s late in the evening
She’s wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her make up
And brushes her long blonde hair

And then she asks me, “Do I look alright?”
And I say, “Yes, you look wonderful tonight”

We go to a party
And everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady
That’s walking around with me

And then she asks me, “Do you feel alright?”
And I say, “Yes, I feel wonderful tonight”

I feel wonderful
Because I see the love light in your eyes
And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don’t realize how much I love you

It’s time to go home now
And I’ve got an aching head
So I give her the car keys
She helps me to bed

And then I tell her as I turn out the light
I say, “My darling, you are wonderful tonight
Oh my darling, you are wonderful tonight”

 

Faith

     Experiences, in life, can have indelible impact on one’s life and can come back biting into those lonely moments of silences we live through in our daily lives. These experiences can be that of opportunities lost, happiness sacrificed, loved ones lost, or even strange unexplained experiences. One of the ideas I live my life by is that of faith. Faith, as I understand, is one of the most essential personal connections that binds different phenomena in lives, and I allude to the faith in humans, here in this abstract. Our lives are structured in a manner that we live by a small group of individuals which are the support systems. The relationship is symbiotic and so both the parties benefit from the love, affection and support that is shared. We live by a belief that our actions will get reciprocated in the manner we carry out our actions.
     Certainly, life is a messy affair in reality and therefore, barring some very strong ideas which are more or less true, most of our other assumptions about people turn out to be false (for certain groups of people). As a child growing up my understanding of the world was that we as humans are fundamentally true and selfless and that truthful people succeed in life. Over time as I grew up, it became evident that the though the idea holds the converse may be statistically significant. My idea of perfection turned out to be far away from the messiness of reality that exists around us. 
     Experiences, I believe, over a period of time teach people to be closer to reality – to accept that we are individuals by and large and that while optimism is a great virtue to have, sometimes it falls on its head when it comes to human emotions and connections. When your faith gets shaken up there is a strange behavior that your mind develops. I call it the demon’s den and it is when your mind is at its weakest points that your mind starts wandering into that den. Subsequently, this could be heavily depressing as an individual since there may or may not be reasons good enough for you to be able to combat those emotions. 
     Somehow, I understand, that comprehending the idea of individualism is important – that we are all independent and yet at the same time at the whims of our mind. Faith is a dangerous territory when dealing with people around and experiences with unfulfilled outcomes can lead to unwanted depressing periods. 

Arranging lives

Over the past 9 months, something I have come to realize is that independence of thought and liberty in action is very critical for the development of the intellect of a human being. India, as a society, has a very hypocritical stance when we come to think of choosing our life partners. Our society supports a very different and yet weird concept of “arranging” relationships, a term so crude and meaningless.

When we think of choices that we make in our lives, it is hard for me as an individual to work on an idea that I detest for even a week  and yet we can imagine people living their lives together with no acquaintance. The repercussions of such an ideology is that we go through a social conditioning during our childhood that teaches us that those who indulge with people from the opposite sex are liable to become immoral. It may eventually lead to lack of confidence, awkwardness and sexual repression for certain individuals. Over a longer period time, a large section of the youth could become clueless as to what actually is moral and what is not. On the hindsight, what I have learned early in my childhood, seems pretty unnatural to me. The idea of having to arrange for something does not make sense, since emotions are there within, and there is a natural and innate self one cannot suppress, no matter how you ever define morality.

One of the sadder repercussions is that it seems like very few societies actually purport the idea of “arranging” a lifelong relationship. The simplest explanation I can think of is that of liberty and naturalness. It is during the later half of the 20s you start thinking of what is next and it is not a very good (I would say unnatural) state to be in when you are looking into nothingness. As a being, one of the worst states, to be in is that of cluelessness. For once it is good to having tried and failed, however, when the ideas ingrained in yourself are self contradictory and unnatural there is bound to be that sense of hopelessness.

I believe, there are certain ideologies, that are wasteful and are propagated out of fear without any sense of understanding of a being’s individual rights and privileges. It might be the bane that generations carry due to a lack of flexibility and pure senselessness. For an act that can affect one’s happiness so much, deprivation instead of encouragement is callous, to say the least on the part of one’s upbringing.

 

A love so yonder

Illusive creations, of mind, as they creep,
Into my life, unwillingly as I try to keep.
And never a moment, when I succeed,
I wish to have them, for times in need.

Marvels of nature enlivening the soul,
Sparking desires, whilst stories unfold.
Why the heart cries for a love so yonder,
Growing ever so merrily, ever so fonder.

When I ever tried to fathom, I tried in vain,
And yearn did my heart, heavy with pain.

My wish to find, my soul’s true mate,
Ended finding an alienated companion.

Aha ! I realize, why love, was never, ever away,
It shone here, in my heart, as it lovingly sway.
It lay within, in heart’s beats, my smiles, and tears,
In thoughts, every moment’s courage and fears.

And in a moment, I had a revelation,
That, love, heart’s own creation.
Indifferent of worldly beliefs and notions,
Is peaceful in the purity of emotions.

 
 

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