Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Books to buy (Compulsory this semester)

I was discussing with my friend, the best places in Chennai to buy pirated books and suddenly remembered the college days.

During my 2 years course, there was always a list of books that the college wanted us to buy compulsorily. Each one of us either had to place orders through the college, or buy a copy and that copy should be shown to the coordinator. He/She is said to note this and add it up to our internal marks!!! Anything that the students were supposed to do in the curriculam, was directly or indirectly and sometimes proportionately linked to the internal marks.

The college authorities took all this trouble to make sure that no single soul has been individually deprived of the knowledge and literature that the book provides. (its a pun... please!)

But in fact, these 'compulsory' books are the ones that are never, ever actually taught or used in the actual curriculam. To prove this to you, I will just give you the names of few compulsory books that we had to buy for the second semester; 'Power of positive thinking'. 'Case studies in Accounting'. Case studies! in accounting!! can you believe it?? Not even once during the classes were these books mentioned. Anyway, you get what i meant, right?

We being sensible hostelites (ahem), never really saw the reason to have more than one copy per 5 of us, or maybe 7 of us. Of course, there were few students who would buy each and every prescribed book and read it cover to cover. I dont mean them, I am talking about normal people, like me ;)

One of us would buy a pirated copy of the book and take it to the coordinator to show him/her and then hand it over to the next in waiting and that person would do the same and this will continue till all of us were convinced that our internal marks are safe. The bright part of this was, when I vacated the hostel, I did not have to carry away too many books. All my books fitted in to one compact cardboard box.

Sneha

Friday, November 2, 2007

To Believe

Whats the most difficult thing you have ever done in life?? Few answers i got from my friends: To think, to forgive etc., 'To believe' tops my list. To believe and have faith in things that do not have statistical backing and reasonable explanations.

Imagine a situation where a majority of the populace believes and has faith in a particular something, but when you try to make sense out of it, you never find any.. The mind always looks for sense, atleast mine does. When I am told something, or read something and am required to believe in it, I try to explain things to my brain using science, using the evidence available. its simple- how difficult is it to believe something when it can be proved?

Unfortunately in some cases, the issues that are widely believed in, are never explained by science. For example, intuition. I never believed in it, in the sense that it has to be believed. I was happy to rename it as coincidence. The only reason i believed in coincidence was because I could explain it. its not complicated. but intuition? well..

Of late, i have been reading many books that has strong thoughts and as a result, it set the brain thinking. While I was at it, my unbendable brain, which never accepted anything that was not explained by science started thinking about few issues that science could not explain. Intuition and Faith.

I am not saying my thinking system is totally freaked out, I am just saying that now, instead of living just by the facts and by the rules, I have started taking the minute and minor risks that science or statistics cannot explain. yes, iam surprised by the results, yes i will continue to be surprised till i believe more.

yesterday, at 7 pm, i took the guindy kathipara route to the mount road instead of my regular 8 kilometer muddy and narrow short cut and reached home in just about half an hour and its only 6.5 kilometers. It was a regular weekday and usually the Kathipara route means 1.5 hours on the road in incredibly heavy traffic, not to mention that 7 pm is just the height of peak traffic. anyday my muddy road takes me home in forty minutes, so all these days i used that except yesterday. Yesterday, i just had this totally confident gut feeling that its better to take the kathipara route, i never doubted it. all the same, i was surprised to find the traffic considerably less.

See, I know i am not making too much sense here, and thats exactly the point. sometimes, you just believe and act. Yes, of course its difficult! now you know why i said believing is the most difficult thing?

Sneha