Random Ramblings

#151 : A curious case of disappearance

It was a hot humid Sunday morning. The sun was playing hide and seek, but the heat was still there drinking off the strength from people going about, doing their mundane stuff outdoors.

Sunday to me meant, grocery shopping. Given that it was month end it meant provision shopping as well. Me and my husband, we started early and reach out regular shopping haunt, a big commercial store situated in Paadi. We normally split the list to shop and go about shopping so that the whole process does not turn tiresome. This particular shop is famous for cheap prices and ever crowded billing areas. Given that I’m recovering from a bout of pox, it was decided that I would stand with the trolley in tow at spot near the vegetable section.

I found an empty row and parked my trolley behind a small stack of boxes. An employee of the store was stick on price tags to the rusk packets present in the box. He then went on to stack it away on the rows for sale. I pulled out my phone and started to read a book on the kindle app. Minutes passed and the din at the vegetable area grew louder. I decided it was high time I closed the book. I couldn’t concentrate on a book with that swelling crowd. Just as I was about to pocket the phone, I felt my trolley being pushed towards me. The handle hit my mid-riff squarely and I howled in pain. That’s when I noticed that two boys pushing their trolley and trying to get out of their way. They looked like college goers and had an air of  arrogance. They apologized for namesake in that boring tone and pushed the trolley again without giving me time to move. That’s when I totally lost my cool and started blasting them off without warning. They simply threw a dirty bored looked and moved on.

I hadn’t noticed that the guy stacking the packets from the box had moved to the other side to leave way to these arrogant brats. He then consoled me saying that a lot of people are like this and they just get away with a silly apology. He told me about his plight and how often he ends up with a horrible back pain because people simply push the trolley without bothering to ask him move causing injury. They simply get away with a sorry because they are customers he reasoned.

For the next hour, until my husband returned, I counted no less than 19 instances where people didn’t bother to ask him to move. To them, he never existed. When he squeaked in pain of being hit, they apologized meekly and continued on without checking if he was okay.

He was invisible to them because he was an employee and they were the customer. Does it matter if some silly employee is injured? Does it matter if he is a human it too? Apparently it doesn’t. The most shocking observation was that all the 19 people who injured him dressed smartly, which may or may not imply that they are educated.

Evidently then, education has nothing to do with humanity. Isn’t that the whole point of having a moral science class or an ethics class? In fact, isn’t respecting humanity, the whole point of education. He is there working to ensure that his family is looked after, just like any other person. Then why the discrimination? At that moment, in that place, it felt like humanity had disappeared all together. What was curious was that, all those year of education seemed to have had no effect on intelligence. Aren’t all jobs the same? The compensation sure would different, but at the end of the aren’t we all employed people being paid for what we do?

The counter argument that it was foolish of him to work on the floor during peak hour is quite invalid in this context. He is a human. Would we treat our kith and kin if they were there in his place? He might have had his reasons, but that doesn’t warrant us to not treat a fellow human being like one. The plight of people employed in these so called super stores have already been brought to light by the Tamil movie ‘Angadi Theru’. The movie garnered rave reviews. However, that evidently hasn’t translated to compassion in real life.

Compassion & humanity = disappeared

Random Ramblings

#150 : For The Love Of Reading

 

Before you go on to read this write up, to  understand the extent of the madness I subject to my tiny brain, please read these three blog posts – Of “Brutally Honest” Reviews , A letter to the nosy stranger &  An open letter to arm-chair critics.

I’ve ranted enough about the perils of being a book blogger. Upon reading the rant (mentioned above), my “well wishers” indirectly suggested that I give up reviewing. Apparently, I wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box. My reviews were in first person and that was no proper way to write a review. I didn’t use fancy words or elaborately constructed phrases to describe various aspects of the book. To top it all, I didn’t have an overflowing friend list on Facebook or a insane number of followers on Instagram. Did it all matter? Not one bit really. These criticisms never affected me for a while, but how long could one take it all. No, I’ve not wilted under the pressure of criticism.

I’ve finally taken an informed decision to quit reviewing upon requests/blog tours. There will be no more blog posts from my book blog – bookandink.weebly.com. I just posted the last review which ironically is a translated work from my native language – Tamil. I suppose it is a sign that I ought to start reading books in Tamil.

This journey of writing about books has been very interesting. I’ve met some very interesting and warm people. I want to thank all people who have supported me and put up with my late posts. I know I’m not the perfect example of sticking to the time line when it comes to reviewing. Trust me, I’m the exact opposite when it comes to other real life mundane things.

I would like to apologize to all writer’s whose books I’ve accepted and haven’t reviewed it yet. I’m extremely sorry. I cannot really promise to finish reading it, but if I do, trust me to leave at least a line about it on Goodreads or Amazon.

I ought to thank my mum who inculcated the habit of reading/writing. Mum, you have no idea how much this habit has helped me shape up as a person. Dad, words fail me when I need them the most. I can’t possibly express how thankful I am for raising me to be who I am. Vignesh, I’m sorry. I know you would be disappointed by this decision of mine, but I think it’s high time I hung the boots formally. I’ve not given up reading. I’ve just given up on reviewing.

Dhivya, this post would be incomplete without a mention of you. Thank you. You have no clue how much of an influence you were on me.

‘Why now’ would probably be the question of the hour. I re-iterate. Please read the three posts mentioned in the beginning of this blog. Imagine that rant multiplied by 100, I’ve reached the saturation point. To add it all, my day job has turned very demanding. Balancing it all right now with the state of my mind right now is difficult.

Thank you!

PS. Blimey! 150 posts already? I hope to keep this blog active. I hope to write more. Hope is all I have.

Random Ramblings

#149 : Z – Zeigler Nichols Tuning

Z finally and I thought I will never make it. Thanks to a bunch of good souls including my husband for helping me make it. I’m in no mood to write about the actual concept of Zeigler Nichlos Tuning.

If you are curious this is what it means – The Ziegler-Nichols rule is a heuristic PID tuning rule that attempts to produce good values for the three PID gain parameters.

I’m sure you wouldn’t have understood what P or I or D means unless you’ve slogged hard to complete your engineering degree just like me.

I learnt this topic the hardest way possible. Back in college we were made to write numerous tests. If you had failed in a subject you would require to attend special class after college hours. Being the average third bench student that I was, I managed to scrape through all the subjects, except for Engineering Graphics. Drawing was, is, will, never be my thing. One other subject I terribly regretted failing was Control Systems. I had failed in one of the mid semester test by half a mark. The Professor flat out refused that half a mark and ensured that I attended the special class. This very topic was the reason I lost that half a mark!

Now you know why I am in no mood to write about this topic  in technical terms.

If you are still curious about this topic, buy me a library, then I might consider teaching you all about it.

#AtoZChallenge done and dusted.

Random Ramblings

#148 : Y – Yousafzai, Malala

For a change, this is post is about a writer whose book has been on my To read list for quite sometime now. This youngest noble prize awardee has piqued my interest after I watched her interacting with Emma Watson.

A little about Malala,

Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Her family came to run a chain of schools in the region. Considering Jinnah and Benazir Bhutto as her role-models, she was particularly inspired by her father’s thoughts and humanitarian work. In early 2009, when she was 11–12, she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC Urdu detailing her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat. The following summer, journalist Adam B. Ellick made a New York Times documentary about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region. She rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by activist Desmond Tutu.

On the afternoon of 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was injured after a Taliban gunman attempted to murder her. Yousafzai remained unconscious, in critical condition at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK.

When I first read about Malala, there was just one thing which kept bother me. This is girl was gifted enough and had the means to be treated. What of the other girls? What of the other people whom Taliban attacked. Undoubtedly, she is a fighter and a survivor. Had it been some other girl from a poor economic background who would have footed her bills? Sadly, that’s the unjust way of life.

Do watch the video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKckKStggSY

Random Ramblings

#147 : X – X-Ray

If you are wondering how the heck is an X-Ray related to an engineer like me, hold that thought. We had one paper in our course work dedicated to studying medical instruments. X-Ray, ECG,EEG,EKG, you name it, we’ve read it. It’s one subject which was supposed to be interesting, but fell flatter than a flat tyre.

So what is X-Ray? A device used to check if you have any broken bones. That’s a rather crude form of putting it.

X-Ray is basically an electromagnetic radiation with wavelength shorter than the UV Rays (Ultra Violet? Sun? Radiation? Rings a bell I hope).

Fun fact : X-Ray was discovered by  Wilhelm Röntgen. Poor fellow was all lost and confused and couldn’t figure out what the heck these rays were. So he named them X-Ray where X signified the unknown. Oh and this doesn’t have any connection to the X we were often tortured to find in our math subjects.

As mentioned earlier, the X-Ray is used to check for broken bones and stuff. The thing is, our bones contains a lot of calcium. The calcium absorbs X-Rays well. This reduces the amount of X-rays reaching the detector in the shadow of the bones, making them clearly visible on the radiograph.

However, these rays used for diagnostic purpose are harmful for the body and induce cancer when dosed in large amount.

There are plenty of other uses of X-Rays including industrial applications, crystallography, astronomy and microscopy.

Random Ramblings

#146 : W – War

This is one topic I dreaded writing the most. I’ve not read  much of war based books baring a couple of books. In general this is what I learnt.

1. Graphic and Gory – Some people like reading all the graphic details of a war casualty.  While others prefer a much toned down version. Describing a war in a very graphic manner would help the reader visualize things as they happened. For some people, it may trigger unwanted unpleasant memories. Thus, moderation is the key.

2. Of World War II – Most of the war stories written have World War II as the setting. There is a lot of scope for story line manoeuvre as the Nazis tortured the Jews in many innovative ways. In fact I had to steer clear off such books to ensure my head was intact. Unless you have the gut to read about such human cruelty, is recommended not to pick such books.

3. Time Line Switch – Time line switch is one literary device which can be used to plot a war story. It is easier to make an aged character remember their past. Example of a typical story line would be an aged character searching for a long lost artifact or a close relative. A La Titanic.

4. The Kashmir Angle – I’ve read a couple of books based on the Kashmir conflict. The most memorable read would be Our Moon Has Blood Clots. The story involves a sadly memorable incident when Kashmiri Pandits fled their homes in fear of being attacked. this is one interesting yet sad thread of story line to be used.

Random Ramblings

#145 : V – Verne, Jules

It was the year 2002. It was my second year at the new school. I had begun to mingle well and made friends. I  was just another ordinary girl with average grades. The only thing people would really remember me was for my hair. I had cut it into a bob and it spread out densely like a tree’s canvas. I was ridiculed and compared with a then popular god man. It wasn’t upsetting really, I had a reputation for having particularly thick skin. That’s when I won a competition conducted annually by my school. I don’t remember which now though. The prize was a Jules Verne book – Around the world in eighty days. An abridged simple version. I still have it safely locked away in my book shelf at mum’s place. As expected, I finished reading the book in one sitting.

VJules Verne.jpg

Jules Verne was a popular French writer and novelist whose works were influential on literary avant-garde and  surrealism. In fact, he is one the most widely misunderstood writer in my opinion for his books have been translated and abridged heavily. A clear case of loss in translation perhaps.

Realisation dawned upon me upon reading a translated version of his other famous work – Journey to the centre of the earth. The version of around the world in eighty days I read (and own), was obviously meant for children and teenagers probably. This book has a very pleasant memory attached to it. Does it matter if it not the original work. Absolutely not! Oh and I never managed to finish reading Journey to the centre of the Earth. Clearly not my type of a book!