Sunday, May 04, 2008

Life as I see it...

Shouldn’t life be a celebration of all the good stuff that happens around a person? We spend so much of our lives whining about small stuff, fretting about traffic jams, a program missed, a negative comment from an acquaintance and so on and so forth. It is amazing that every single day beautiful things happen and I don’t have the presence of mind to note them, cherish them and remember the joy. But if ever I do take the time to stop and look around, there is so much to see; nothing phenomenal or huge, just small details that I tend to miss normally. It might be a small, colourful, happy butterfly. It might be a beautifully shaped, fluffy, white cloud. Then again it might be the deep, unending blue of the afternoon sky, the fresh green of leaves, the glowing sky at sunset, the velvety sky at moon rise, the thousands of twinkling stars! And as if the beauty of nature is not enough, I encounter so much beauty in the people in my life. The unconditional acceptance from friends, the friendly gesture of an acquaintance, the pleasure of someone respecting my opinion, the unexpected smile from a complete stranger or the naughty grin on a child’s face! More often than not, these are perfectly uncontrollable expressions of the other person’s own sense of joy…perhaps that is what makes it even better…the fact that nothing is really expected in return, it is completely unconditional…leaving you free to respond in whatever way you desire.

A Few Moments from the Life of a “Would-be” Graduate Student

The incessant worrying about getting an admission into a graduate program somewhere…please! The actual applications and then the unending series of written entrance exams (does anybody ever prepare…ha! If only!). Horrible thoughts about the questions you attempted to solve and all the rest that you did not even bother to read. Waiting (the nail-biting phenomenon begins) for an interview call. Finally a letter does arrive...what does it say??? Most are rejections cloaked in words meant to imply the schools deepest sorrow at being unable to find a place for you…come on guys, get real…why can you not just state the plain truth??!!! A few schools do deign to let you know that they might like to consider you for an interview (blessed wonders), asking you to present yourself at the interview venue on so and so a date. So you leave for the interview all geared up and bottling in your tensions, fears and stress. The D-day dawns (Ah! An alliteration). You get all dressed up, neat and tidy but the stress still makes you look like you are over 40 and have been deprived of sleep for your entire life. The wait for your name to be called begins; you wonder why you were ever eager to face the (execution!) panel. The nail-biting continues. People go in and come out of the interview room at an alarming rate. Some lucky souls still have the remains of a smile on their faces even after the ordeal. You wait…knowing your turn will come, it is inevitable. In you go, smile at the panelists, and hope they ask you the simplest question, one that you can answer real quick; but no such luck! You get lost (in the question itself, so why bother to hang around?) and confused and plain fluttered, stammering, making the silliest of mistakes and generally goofing up. Your opinion about yourself sinks to the deepest abyss ever. And then you discover that wonders never cease, they have actually selected you. There still is hope for life!