Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Reason or Time?

Off late, I know that my blog entry titles pose seemingly outrageous questions. But, that's the way it is! This was some talk we had at the apartment some time back about the intricacies of religion and beliefs. Faith is one such quality which can never be questioned. There are certain things that have been going on for 2000 years and we certainly do not have the wisdom to find out about its inclusion in our daily lives. Faith and veracity are two contrasting qualities, not that faith lacks veracity, but just that faith just cannot question even when there is something outrageous. Science throws a lot of questions at some of the obscure practices of man, but faith just accepts these things without much ado. Our lives have been structured to follow certain things, and we do not believe in reasoning when it comes to the basic norms of the day to day activities.

We were having this discussion about the intricacies of religious faith. There are certain things that just cannot be explained by science. What might be the reason? My friend came up with a good point. He told me, "Imagine 20 years ago if somebody had told you that live images could be streamed from one corner of the globe to the other! Would anybody have believed?" There are certain things happening today for which science may not offer a plausible explanation, but over a period of time, with the advancement of science, there will surely be a way out to learn the strange things of life. It is always good to wait and watch certain things happen than to jump into conclusions questioning everything around you. Science just cannot offer solutions to everything that's happening right now. The reason is very simple. Who is the one who is making advancement in science? It is we who are finding out things, and there are certain things which would take more than the normal time to come up with solutions. Surely, the pace at which scientific advancements are taking place, it is just a matter of time before we come up with explanations for all the intriguing things in life. But, till then we just have to wait! Now, it is not the question of whether it is true or not, but how long is it going to take to find out about what is happening. We just have to learn that it is not a battle for reason anymore, but is just a matter of time. So, there is no question of asking the question Reason or Time. The appropriate question would be Reason, but when?

Inspite of all this, I just cannot agree more when somebody says that there is a power greater than us. I can never dismiss that as a figment of imagination, because there are certain things which control us and which is beyond our realms of understanding. Faith just overrides anything and everything when science fails to reply. It is upto us to know how strong we are when we believe in something.

At the end of the day, we can come to a conclusion that there never was a war between faith and science, though many of them may not agree with this. Science cannot fail but it is just that it needs time to understand the different facets of nature. So, if somebody questions your faith, ask them to wait!

Friday, January 19, 2007

But why?

As I was walking through the dense forest clearing off the overhanging branches that hindered my progress forward, I realised the overwhelming amount of work to be done to build a clear pathway ahead. The rains had lashed the area heavily over the past few days with a soggy ground not making things easy for the amateur. I had not thought about the rain in my planning and certainly it was affecting my progress. The shoes had worn out with different layers of the mud coating encapsulating my sole. The difficulty was all the more noticeable due to the uneven mass of coating adorning both the shoes. Motion through the thick forests certainly required wading through some adverse environment conditions. There were no companions in this exercise, and to reach the other side of the forest, I was left to the confines of my learning, planning and execution. At every stage, I realized that I require more learning, and there began the process of learning new things on the way. The uncertainties at various points played a major role in enhancing my learning experience. There was always a new problem on the way and it certainly required a new line of thought to come up with a solution. It was also a battle to come out in a single piece, what with a large number of carnivores wandering aimlessly until they saw me. Just add the animal devouring plants in the exercise and you most certainly would have to thank your stars to come out unscathed.

I am not in a mood to equate the vagaries of life to that of the forest, for life is a simpler puzzle to solve when compared to the daring adventures in a forest. This post just reflects my state of mind what with a mind boggling assortment of various thoughts creeping into my head. The blog entry started as a random collection of I don't know what, and the forest life equation just found its place in the scheme of things. One of the good things of reading and writing - start off aimlessly and it is not at all necessary to hit any central theme until you realize that you have wandered enough!! On a more serious note, life is one of those words which can be equated to any object and a parallel can be drawn with ease. The wear and tear of life teaches a lot of new things and it is upto the gray matter to accommodate what you want to. It is always easy to absorb ideas that suit a person and ignore everything that falls in the dislike list. Sometimes, you don't have an idea as to where you are heading until you find time to sit back and reflect on the not so good things of life.

One of the many things I hate about myself - Why turn a preachy philosopher when you don't have an iota of wisdom to offer? But, time and again, the introspection in me probes for details to come out with random meandering thoughts and beats all inertia in me to dispel its way outward and create a torrid time for you. I am still wondering...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

How the hell does it matter?

The other day, it was just me and Yadu catching a late night movie from the late nineties, Dilwale Dulhaniye Le Jayenge (DDLJ). The other two roommates of ours had got into bed early, and we had just got up after our evening sleep. Strange things prop up while watching movies and strange ideas give rise to funny situations. It is baseless to equate the cinematic moments with real life scenario. But, it is fun to see to what extent we can go to simulate what we see on screen. I have this "terrible" habit of posing questions out of thin air. No wonder my friends complain when I sit back to watch movies with them.

As we started watching the movie, we came across a scene where Kajol is supposed to marry a guy whom she has never met before. Come on, this is actually not an all out surprising scenario for people like us. But, I still had the nerve to ask Yadu, "Maga, tell me what will you do if you were in such a situation?" Yadu gives that glance which could mean a thousand different things, and then comes up with this reply, "Sh..(Hell for commoners!!), That's what is going to happen to us!!". I just couldn't control my laughter. Obviously, all of us were(rather are) in the same boat. I don't want to make the situation more apalling by writing the obvious. Let me just end it here and wait for a better turn of events in life!!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Literature or Plot?

Any time I am asked for a preference while reading a book, my response almost instantaneously narrows down to the literature. As long as the book makes good reading with simple sentences, I do not get weighed down by the plot. I do not mind if a good plot does not find its way in the book, but as long as the simplicity of the words makes sense, it more than makes my day. Obviously, preferences are relative and totally depending on the individual. There would be hundred opinions counteracting my statement here that plot is more important than literature. That does not forbid me from reading novels. I have read almost all the books from the Sheldons, Archers, Haileys, Browns, where the plot is given high dominance. Of course, the writing is good, but there is a difference when you write a book meant exclusively for a high action gripping finish. Paulo Coelho of The Alchemist fame tends to strike a philosophical touch with his anecdotes that sways forth in all directions before ending with conviction.

I recently grabbed two different books of totally contrasting nature. To Kill a Mockingbird(voted as the best book of the twentieth century) by Harper Lee gives a stunning account of the life during the early thirties from a little child's perspective. The book has all the ingredients of fantastic literature and an equally fantastic plot. Some of the quotes have left a lasting impression in me. It is a simple concept of believing one's conscience over anything and everything. The author talks about the importance of living life for the sake of ideals and not for the sake of the society. The book talks of different examples from the daily walk of life, and then makes a transgression with ease to something dramatic, interrelating the different events in life without much ado. The author conveys what she intended to convey without a strain. It is so important for the reader to realize what the essence of the book is, and Harper Lee here has done a wonderful job in bringing out the pathos from the characters without diluting them in any figment of imagination. The plot is so beautifully interleaved with literature that at the end of the day you have had the satisfaction of having read a good book with the right meaning.

As I progressed on to the next book, The Good Earth offers an invaluable insight into the mainstay of the early period in China. A Pullitzer prize winner, The Good Earth is all about simple sentences with a very strong storyline. It talks about the plight of a young farmer who pulls his family out of the rut during the tough times, and gradually progresses to his old age, and how his life undergoes a transformation. But the whole point is, even during this metamorphosis, he retains the essence of life which happens to be the land. Pearl S Buck has etched simple characters and the book hurries through at a pace meeting the different protagonists of life - joy and depression. The complex things in life is explained with simple examples from the everyday life. Each character is associated with an emotion that can be easily identified.

Some of the books are such that they can easily withstand the ravages of time. They have had such a big impact that they can never fail to bring first time readers again. Books are meant to be written with a purpose in mind, and if it fails to send the right message across to the readers, then the whole exercise of writing a book turns futile. A book is a friend whom you can turn to during the best and worst of times. A heartwarming experience where you can find solace like nowhere else. At the end of the day, I hope I am blessed with the ability to read anything and everything under the sun. It would be phenomenal to experience the thrill of sharing the passion of the many writers of the English language.