Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Varied hues

This isn't a fair comparison but still the similarities hold water to some extent.

In an article in outlook by Arundhati roy on why Mohammed afzal shouldn't be hanged, we're informed that in Kashmir, things aren't as they appear or are made out to be. There's pressure on the army units to give 'figures' of the terrorists killed. This sometimes leads them to bump off innocents and pass them as insurgents-just to toe the official line.

This could be the case in other fields as well where you're expected to 'show' results. But with us, it's definetly so. Although there are no written rules as such, we are expected to show how many bugs we've discovered in the module we're working on. If there are less bugs, or bugs of moderate intensity, it doesn't mean that the product is robust and bug-free; it only means that our testing process isn't accurate, our efforts aren't enough.

The document I'm testing is well written and technically sound. So I pretty much know the remarks that awaits at the end of this testing cycle.

Nor do I like the 'Hurray' feeling I get whenever there's a bug or mistake discovered.


Sometimes things are so funny and commonplace that you don't pay attention at the right moment. Only in hindsight do they become obvious. You call it serendipity, divine will or pure luck but certain things defy rational explainations, logic, resoning(although you can manufacture one, if you're obstinate).

When I was reading a mail from a friend, a quote caught my eye-- 'Don't expect life to be fair.'No, it isn't. This is obvious more so during times of loss and failure. But sometimes life gives you more than you deserve, more than you expected and all of this without any reason or logic. Maybe life isn't fair and reasonable in such situations also.

We've never felt the need for a car all these years. I was blissfully content with my two wheeler. But out of the blue, one day, my elder sister bought a new car and gifted me her Matiz. Left to ourselves, it would've taken another 5-6 years before I'd have thought of buying a car. It was only after a few months that we could appreciate its value in a city like bangalore which is burgeoning day by day. We ended up in situations wherein the car lessened our burden and made things really smooth and comfortable. Looking back, it appears as though we foresaw the situations and bought a car, knowing very well the necessity. But no, it isn't so.

When Archana was pregnant I thought of changing my mobile handset and get a good one with all advanced features, including a camera and sound recorder. The intention was to capture as much as possible the valuable moments and soundbytes of our kid's childhood. Again it was financial considerations that made us postpone this idea. And when we almost stopped thinking about it, my brother-in-law gifts me a handset with all the advanced features I'd dreamt of.

I can quote many more such examples from my experience, some trivial and some life-changing, some good and some threatening. For me it boils down to the quote in my friend's mail. Life isn't fair--in both good and bad ways. You don't get things that you thought you deserved,and sometimes you get in abundance and start wondering what had you done to deserve all this. Logic, reasoning, our small boundaries--they look absurd and stupid at such times.

It's as if you're sitting inside a small room from ages, and once in a way you look through the window at the brilliance outside. And the door was never closed. It's wide open. You only need a will, a bit of courage and a small effort to get up and step out towards the unknown dimensions of life. When you open up, nothing is serendipitious, nothing is a chance or luck. You understand Life with all it's dimensions of fairness and unfairness.

Meditation is the first step towards this opening up. You don't just meditate for concentration or stress relief. That's kindergarten stuff! You meditate to remember who you are in reality. You meditate to experience directly that you aren't a tiny insignificant speck in this huge universe. Meditation is a tool that wakes us up from our eons long sleep. It opens our eyes to the divine that we truly are.

This passage is more of a reminder for myself--To meditate more and often and get out of the rut soon. To stop wasting time in insignificant pursuits, to stop brooding on the pointlessness of life. To reclaim my tremendous, multi-dimensional personality that's hidden within all along.

Midnight's children...

I'm sleepy to death so is she but there ain't any choice. The kid's crying and you have to wake up and attend to him. Nappy's wet. Need to change it. Get a new one. Wrap it around and within 5 minutes he wets it. You look at him and he stops crying for a few seconds, stares at you, yawns leisurely and begins to wail again.

'Bring him here,' Her voice is heavy. She's tired; obviously since she couldn't catch a wink during the day and slept only sparingly last night. It's 12 midnight--he slept at 10 and is up again. Maybe he'll go back to sleep only at 3. Or maybe 4.

He senses her touch. The moment she wraps her arms around him and says a few soothing words, he calms down.

'Put him on the bed,' I suggest. 'Let him sleep with us tonight, not in the cradle. Let him feed and you too can sleep along with him.'

We've done that before. Both of them sleep together, but after a while he wets the nappy, feels the chills and wakes up. Starts wailing. We put a large plastic sheet so that he doesn't wet the bed. Wrap him in warm soft clothes. Switch off the lights. And soon we both are asleep, probably before he's slept.

Early morning. He's wriggled out of the warm clothes, twisted and turned out of the plastic sheet and soiled the new bedsheet along with the bed! And blissfully looking around, gurgling once in a while.

First few months are going to be tough--for her. However much I wish to help her and try, she has to bear the brunt. Not that she's complaining but she too is human. Patience wears thin at times.

Add to this the unsolicited advices from all and sundry about what not to do, what to do, what we're doing wrong. Insistence from elders to follow a few stupid rituals. Nerves are on fire. Need to take care not to hurt others and also not hurt oneself. Delicate balancing acts.

And once in a while he smiles, as if laughing at our predicament!


  1. TAG! YOure IT!
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  2. Mmmm, will answer this tag, Jen. Did it only once last year and it was fun. Thanks.
    And yeah, Merry christmas in advance. Have a great time with jassen. Tell my hi to him.
    (Couldn't comment on your blog. Some problem with beta I guess)

  3. “Figures' of the terrorists killed” sounds like the “body counts” we in the U.S. were fed during the Vietnam War. The idea of measuring success quantitatively, whether in the number killed or bugs discovered in the module or “souls won for Jesus” is absurd.

    Yes, there are times when life gives us more than we deserve more than we expect without any reason or logic. Theologically I call that “grace.”

    More later—it is past midnight here.

  4. Intresting thoughts. Liked various explanations. Good going!!

  5. Remember those days were very tiring but then it had it's own charm !
    Elders , i love them the way they were . we should have and can always love and respect them for what ever life has made them.
    Lately, i have been receiving such a love from my parent in laws , their love which i did't feel when i was there , now touches myself deeply Your parents are perfect gems in their own respects ...Archana.