Thursday, November 27, 2008

Yet another attack...

What is there to be said over and over again, when we are faced with a situation that is becoming so frequent? It is so disturbing. So many innocent people killed in a senseless attack. Is there any solution. When will our politicians stop bickering and take some constructive action? Do we tackle terrorism or the corrupt politicians? Who is worse?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Purpose to Life

I am reading this book –The Hungry Tide by Amitava Ghosh – have just finished 140 pages of it. But I like what I have read. The author has this beautiful style of writing and even brings detailed descriptions to life. One of the characters in the book realises that in the Sunderbans of Bengal, she has gathered enough material to pursue her research which would probably keep her going for many years. Not any kind of earth shattering breakthrough, but data that would be significant enough to give her something to carry on with a purpose ‘It would be enough; as an alibi for a life. It would do; she would not need to apologise for how she had spent her time on this earth.’

So beautifully put. I like that. Having a meaningful existence. An alibi for a life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It is good to forget sometimes!!

I forgot!!

Don't be upset with that .... unless the person has forgotten it is your birthday or anniversary!!

An article in Mint states that neuroscientists say forgetting is crucial to the efficient functioning of the mind, to learning, adapting and recalling more significant things!!

I guess you could liken the brain to the computer. If one is to keep all the files, pictures, songs, movies... and continue to add more without deleting what is not required, the system will definitely slow down. Here, one could back up on a CD or add more memory but alas, this is not the case with the human brain. It is thought that if one has to remember all that has happened and store it , it could possibly drown you in a sea of inefficiency.

It is true that unless an event has made a lasting impression on the brain it probably would not remain in the memory. Trying to remember something that has been forgotten may revive some impressions and like a jigsaw puzzle may have the pieces, but in the wrong places!!

Most people fail to register all information at a time. In an experimental process when respondents were asked to focus on a particular activity, other happenings in the same sphere went unnoticed - a phenomenon labeled as “change blindness”.

Forgetting, strangely is a very active process, although subconscious. As the brain stores a small piece of information, it is at the same time erasing large amounts of irrelevant matter so that it can free brain power for more important issues. Mundane, every day matters are not considered important to be stored.
So, if there is an event you want to remember, ensure that you keep a journal with atleast some tab to associate it with. Photographs are also memory jogs.
If you have to appreciate why it is important to forget, I would need to quote James McGaugh one of the world's leading experts on how the human memory system works, who says Remember that forgetting can be very useful, : “If you used to go out with Bob and now you’re married to Bill, you want to be able to say, ‘I love you, Bill.’ That’s why forgetting is important.”
Moral: Remember to forget and do not forget to remember. And you have to remember what to forget and at the same time not forget what you should remember. Good luck!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Two is an odd number!!

Ah.... it is just the two of us at home and it is odd that even when 1+1 is two, life is not that simple. It did not seem so 27 years ago . The local kirana store supplied even 50 gms of whatever you wanted to buy. And shopping bags were lighter to carry. Now, one is drawn to the big supermarkets that have sprung up in each neighbourhood. All fine, considering the ambience, the variety on offer, the bargains and discounts. But shopping for two suddenly has become difficult. With the buy one get one free offers, another pack that screams 33% more , buy super pack and save and so on... we find ourselves stocked with food that lasts and lasts and getting stale with storage. But on the flip side, one discovers in the process you can overlook the use within 5 days of opening the pack which is probably the only hope for the manufacturers to push their sales and these opened packs last for upto a fortnight!!

I look longingly at the freshly baked bread loaf, draw in the flavours and walk on. When at times I succumb, I regret soon enough when the bread no longer is fresh as it languishes in the refrigerator.

Till I find a solution ....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Those school girl days...

Now, that is a long, long journey back in time. It all started when a classmate of mine tracked me down last week, after she found my brother on Facebook. It helps to have had an unusual surname. And I dashed off a mail to another classmate - RG - from class 2. ( strange to think that she is probably among the very few who have known me now, for over 45 years!!). And we started off on this nostalgic trip. She accused (:-) ) me of being the teacher's pet (Class 2 again) while she was harassed about her curly hair!! I had forgotten all about it. Teacher's pet? I am not too sure about that, but now that she brought it up, I do recollect that I was often asked to come and stand before the class and turn around so that the group would see how neatly dressed I came to school!! If only she saw me now! And strangely, all of a sudden I remember the class room so well.
We also had this so called secret group that we formed. Why 'secret' is something which baffles me. I guess it was the influence of the Enid Blyton books that we read. We scraped our forehead and had a nice gash (just the 6 of us who belonged to this 'secret group') which smarted for days. That was about all we did as our secret activity. And I remember the horrible sports teacher who slapped me. And the needlework teacher who cut my sample after getting the stitches wrong . I hated that class.
Ah well, those were the days. I am glad they are over. I still shudder when I think of some of the teachers. But for the few friends who keep in touch ... I am grateful. And I hope we have many, many occasions to meet.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'll Huff and I'll Puff.....

Each morning I have vowed to huff and puff and get in shape. Our exerbike cum elliptical is the newest addition to the clutter in the house. After years of cajoling I finally got a serious piece of exercising equipment in the house if you discount the skipping rope, the weights and the hoop. So to ensure that the activity is carried out in real earnest I am ready in ( almost total) exercise gear , timer, mp3 player. Well, so far so good. It has been a month. The first day on the bike seemed quite a disaster. Aching knees and creaking bones ( from total inactivity for more than a couple of months) seemed to have taken a toll on the stamina factor and I could not get beyond two minutes of easy cycling and elliptical. And well, slowly and at a steady pace it has been brought upto 15 minutes. Hopefully the enthusiasm will continue. Hopefully I will get into shape. And I have to ensure that the bike will not finally end up as a clothes stand!! I could do with some encouragement too.
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