All posts tagged: people

Pen, paper & poetry

Poetry can truly transcend time and geography, and make you believe in the equivalent of a fairy tale for adults; a kind of serene, beautiful existence where words can smell, touch, smile and cry. The Street: Octavio Paz A long and silent street. I walk in blackness and I stumble and fall and rise, and I walk blind, my feet stepping on silent stones and dry leaves. Someone behind me also stepping on stones, leaves: if I slow down, he slows: if I run, he runs. I turn: nobody. Everything dark and doorless. Turning and turning among these corners which lead forever to the street where I pursue a man who stumbles and rises and says when he sees me: nobody [Original: La calle] Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my lids and all is born again. (I think I made you up inside my head.) The stars go waltzing out in blue and red, And arbitrary blackness gallops in: I shut my …

Gen Y generations

Forget generations X and Y. They definitely can’t be seasoned by decades, particularly not gen Y. It is evidently split into micro-generations; Gen Y-ers could at best be clustered by 3 or 4 years. Take the early 80s-born for instance. They loiter around social media, they’re mildly fascinated by facebook, they use skype as a ‘cheap’ means of communication, they google their recipes. But that doesn’t make them one of us. They’re not compulsively RSS-fed. They’re not facebook addicts, nor pro-multi-taskers. Their social lives aren’t dependent on google talk. They don’t get twitter. SMSing is not ingrained in their system. A blog is just another website. Forget functionality; their motivations, aspirations, values, opinions, all belong with gen X or are only incrementally different. Here’s a snapshot of us (not them) in the workplace. I surfaced in 88, incase you’re speculating. I wonder what the 90s-offsprings would say to my ‘micro-generation’. Given the pace at which our lives are evolving, we are probably not far from the point when a year will be sufficient to create …

Tick-tock

The blogosphere, it seems, it steadily disintegrating itself from my life. I crave to get my blogging and blog-stalking hours back. Damn inefficient time management in life outside of work, as though it doesn’t flaunt its ugly head all day anyway. I’m 3 weeks old in the working world, not yet neck-deep in work, and already begging for an extension in my 24-hour days. Slow down time, prithee. If I write any more in this brain-dead state, this post will be nothing short of a rant. So here goes, one of few those chain mail poems that I still remember and find very apt at this point: Have you ever watched kids On a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain Slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down Don’t dance so fast Time is short The music won’t last. Do you run through each day On the fly? When you ask How are you, Do you hear the reply? When …

Remembering August 6th

Today marks the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and continues to send shivers down the spines of those that dare to reminisce. 64 years later, the world is still a cradle of hatred, cruelty and destruction. Although we probably had our first tryst with World War II in 6th grade history textbooks, I deeply encountered the implications of war, weapons & death only in 9th grade literature. It tragically transformed historical numbers, facts and figures into real people, emotions and scars. A doctor’s journal entry for August 6, 1945 – Vikram Seth The morning stretched calm, beautiful, and warm. Sprawling half clad, I gazed out at the form Of shimmering leaves and shadows. Suddenly A strong flash, then another, startled me. I saw the old stone lantern brightly lit. Magnesium flares? While I debated it, The roof, the walls and, as it seemed, the world Collapsed in timber and debris, dust swirled Around me – in the garden now – and, weird, My drawers and undershirt disappeared. A splinter jutted from my mangled thigh. …

The moral microscope

Life is filled with contradictions, cliches, constants and conflicts. There are no absolutes, no black & whites. We tend to govern our lives with fundamental principles, but the rate at which these principles evolve is also the rate at which we mature. And with maturity comes a sense of incredulity at the things we have believed in,  prioritised and valued. Personally, whenever I muse about moralities, and more now than ever, my arguments scatter on uneven grounds. On the one hand, life is way too short to assess each situation under the moral microscope and do what seems “right”, than simply embrace a moment and flow with it. This is particularly true when you purely believe in science, or disbelieve in any form of rebirth. Karma, I suppose, comes into play only in matters which exert an influence, good or bad, on others. On the other hand, however, a society devoid of morals will undoubtedly become a chaos fest, and the guilt does bear a certain inexplicable weight on the mind. I guess my dilemma is …

Graduation day

Commencement officially marks the end of student life, even though in our minds, the transition was made the day we finished our last exam in college. We’ve entered the next level of that video game that never ceases to fascinate us. Treasures have been found, hills climbed, landscapes traversed, battles fought and won or lost, accomplices identified, cheat codes memorized indelably. The time has come to remodel the avatar and refine the tasks. Staging black gowns and graduation hats, the class of 2009 officially ended its undergraduate tenure. There were smiles and flashes everywhere; Commencement 2009 at SMU (Singapore Management University, from where I graduate) became the culmination of all memories created and collected over 4 years. My own ineffability thus far was transcended by a sense of delight and hope, and a tinge of nostalgia. The commencement address, delivered by a member of the Keppel Coporation, was, in all aspects, disappointing, dismaying and demotivating. The R word was justified in being featured in the speech, but certainly not expected to consume it entirely. Tell …

Poetry at its finest

While reading The Motorycle Diaries, I came across this hauntingly beautiful poem written by Otero Silva, a Venezuelan poet and novelist born in 1908: I heard splashing on the boat her bare feet And sensed in our faces the hungry dusk My heart swaying between her and the street, the road I don’t know where I found the strength to free myself from her eyes to slip from her arms She stayed, crying through rain and glass clouded with grief and tears She stayed, unable to cry Wait! I will come walking with you.

Education reforms in India

The Congress came to power with big promises this year (as all governments post all elections), and much to the credit of the academic party that it is, I am proud to say that I see hope for India, believing, rather optimistically, that Kapil Sibal’s proposed education reforms will be implemented. I must confess that I am an Indian news channels’ addict, despite the trash that they feature and hype, and have followed all day, the vision of Kapil Sibal, India’s HRD minister and a Harvard alumni. My rants on education finally find some relief, at least in acceptance of the fact that our education system is a breeding ground for stress, due to its superficial emphasis on results. The man who led India’s first expedition to the Arctic and represented the country at the Davos economic forum, has now become the harbinger of relief in the Indian student life. In an NDTV exclusive with Barkha Dutt, Kapil Sibal proposed the following: Scrap the compulsory class 10 board exam, for it is merely a source …