Fish

Fish

“We’re all like fish, you know”

Dhananjay’s legs dangled down from the dam, water rushing beneath his feet in white frothy rage.
The dam was one of his favourite haunts since his school days. He would pick up Suresh from his house and they both would take turns cycling through the bumpy road as the other one sat on the front bar.

They used to come here for the freshly fried river fish, forgetting the tiredness of school hours as their aching
calves pushed on for one last stretch of cycling.

To Dhananjay and Suresh, the dam was worth the cramped up leg muscles.
And now here they were, middle-aged men who still hadn’t missed a beat from their childhood bonhomie.

It wasn’t just fried fish nowadays,Dhananjay brought the glasses and Suresh had the liquor.

They found solace with a glass and a ciggie in each hand. The weekly visit to the dam gave them bigger fish to
fry.

“We’re all like fish, you know”

Said Dhananjay as he ashed his cigarette into the rushing water below. Suresh was no further behind, always
ready with a sarcastic comment.

“We’re always drinking till our ears leak and flopping around when on land, is that why?”

“Ever seen a goldfish?… The ones living in the fancy bowls”

Dhananjay was immune to sarcasm. His total lack of humour wasn’t because of the alcohol. He treated life as
one big staring contest even when sober.

“Yeah what about them?”

“How would the world look like to them.What runs through their minds when it rains food once every two
hours, what is the level of understanding they have of this world?”

“Looks like I’ll have to do the driving tonight”

Suresh was not into conversations about goldfishes. But he knew there was no stopping Dhananjay at this point.
The floodgates were opened. Sitting back and listening was the only thing he could do.

“Let’s just say a goldfish is not aware of the fact that there is a bigger world than the tank it lives in.Whatever it
understands is confined to that small tank. It has no idea of how life works, and it associates every single
positive or negative act in its life to fate or..”

“God”

Suresh sat straight, the conversation was taking shape into something comprehensible.But comprehensible is
not always coherent, thus came out the question

“But if the goldfish is us..and by what you say, we’re all seeing and feeling things just because someone bigger
than us makes us to, doesn’t it make that person God? And what would be the purpose behind all this?”

He swept his hand across the surroundings, cigarette in hand as if implying the dam, the water and all the
people in them were somehow meant to be purposeful creations by God himself.

“There is no purpose! Don’t you see!”

Whatever general morbidity that was a part of Dhananjay, was lost in the budding excitement of this
conversation.
“Why would you raise a goldfish or a colony of ants for that matter… And give it a purpose? Would you not
give it a free hand instead of.. somehow trying to give it a convoluted clusterfuck to find it’s life in?!’

Suresh had no choice but to cut him off, Dhan was never one to swear on instinct.
“Okay! Okay man, let’s dumb it down a bit.What are you trying to tell me? What has the goldfish to do with
anything?”

“Okay let me simplify things”
“The God we speak of has no reason to bring in any rules. There is no holy scripture. There is no instruction
manual to our birth.We have an open canvas and we have the right to live…”
“Uhh… Dhan..”

Suresh cut him off again, but this time, he had a clear reason.

The conversation had continued till late night, and the cops had begun to clear the dam of night crawlers and
drunkards. And since they both were holding their own share of alcohol, Suresh and Dhananjay naturally
dropped their bottles and cigarettes upon the sight of the police constable and began to walk inconspiciously
towards the their bikes, hoping the law doesn’t sniff out their dose of booze.

“Okay.. tell it to me in short”
Suresh whispered under his breath as they walked past the police officer standing menacingly with his lathi.

“Tell you what?”

“Tell me what you meant by all this?”

“What I meant was, that there are no rules!”

“Then why are we afraid of the policeman?”

“Because he doesn’t know about the goldfish, and also because we’re about to drink and drive”

Of Observations Not Being Otiose

Well, I have no idea if Lisa Gherardini, popularly known as Mona Lisa was a real women. Speculations tell she wasn’t. Experts tell she was. I have an anchored belief on the experts. Not out of mental bias, but out of something else. Something intriguing. When you have a ruminating look on the expression of the painting, its intriguing enough to tell you such expressions are not bound to be painted out of sheer imagination. Look at the expression again.

Mona Lisa

What do you think Lisa is upto? Sad? Happy? Depressed? Blissful? We don’t know. No one could conclude. For that matter only Lionardo da Vinci can tell that. What would he have observed when he saw the model sitting in front of him? Only he knows. Looking into the picture, I see a hundred ways it could be interpreted. Just that expression can tell you volumes about the painting. The expression of Lisa is just one of the entities that Lionardo has deeply observed. If Leonardo never observed Lisa’s expression, it wouldn’t have been the worth a million dollars which it is.

What’s in observation?

Wildly, Observation has shook mankind enabling its reach to unimaginable borders. Most of the greatest inventions and discoveries are results of brilliant observations. Newton “observed” the falling apple and did not just rub his head away. Roentgen observed that a random ray doesn’t penetrate through bones, named it X-Rays making it one of the greatest discoveries.

While I write this I observe two dragon flies fluttering and dancing. How do I interpret that you ask me? In a hundred ways. You observe the same thing and you interpret in a hundred other ways. These interpretations of ours create a hundred conclusions bringing us to this advanced part of world where nothing has been impossible.

When you get defeated in a war, it just means the enemy has observed you better than you did. There were instances where a meager army of a few thousands went on to defeat an army comprising of lakhs. Ever heard of guerrilla warfare? It is exactly that. It is where a unit of very few armed or unarmed men wage war against a larger and stronger army. How do they do it? They observe the enemy and hit where it is required.

When it comes to observation, it isn’t facile enough for you to master. It is also not tough enough to not be able to master. Observations vary from person to person. When one observes two dragon flies happily dancing, the other observes that the two are wrestling. Observations lead to distinct interpretations and distinct interpretations lead to research and debate. Research and debate bring us conclusions, inventions, discoveries, happiness, sorrow, solutions and also ideas for your next write up. You don’t require a topic to write about. Observations give you ideas on what to write next. A small observation did make me write this.

Wide observations enthrall you into a world of unending boundary of thoughts. Observations can break boundaries that were never broken. Stop watching. Start observing.

P.S Why do all paragraphs in this article start with “W”. May be I just wanted you to observe 😀

Everyone of us Should Vote. But Why?

You get into an MTC on a sunny morning at Guindy bus stop and hand over a ₹500 note and ask “Anna, oru Nandanam(Brother, one Nandanam)”. The conductor would give you a striking stare that gets tattooed in your mind till you get down and he would say,”Moonu rooba change kudu(Give me 3 Change)”. You check the change section of your purse and you find the bracelet that your girl friend/boy friend gave, the ticket of your earlier bus travel and also along with them a 2 coin. How does it feel like when you don’t have that 1 to rescue you? Okay, I know its inexpressible.

Now yet again let me give you another nostalgic, embarrassing, helpless feeling. Lets say you have written the last semester exam of your life(Final year, Final Semester, One last exam). And one sudden sunny day results are out and you find that you failed in your last semester exam by one mark. One single mark. You put up your paper for revaluation and the revaluation result says “No Changes”. How would you feel? Okay, I know its inexpressible. (No offence please. I just wanted to give you that feel :D)

Imagine this happening to a deserving politician. One such politician, son of veteran politician and former governor of Kerala late B Rachiah’s, A R Krishnamurthy who lost against R Dhruvanarayan in Santhemarahalli(Sc) constituency in the 2004 assembly elections. While Krishnamurthy contesting on JDS ticket polled 40751 against Dhruvanarayan’s 40752 votes. So how would that feel? Yes again, inexpressible.

Vote

Being a part of democracy, its important that you vote. You ask me why? Let me tell you why.

Consider a strong politician X who is contesting against another strong politician Y. X in your opinion has scams to his name and is someone whom you’ll never believe. And Y who also has scams to his name but has on minimal scale along with some good governmental and welfare initiatives to his name. But again you don’t believe in him too. So you opt not to vote. And after results get declared you find X defeating Y by one vote and that definitely is yours. Now X gets into the assembly, loots more and more money. This is what is happening in Indian Democracy. We either don’t choose at all or choose to stay aloof or choose the wrong person. Now that you did not vote, you just became a reason for wrong person representing the state. And we go bonkers when they do nothing and just loot public money.

Your one vote makes every possible difference. So yes press some button of your choice on the ballot and get your index finger inked. India will improve.

The Transformation

Hostel

After slogging for 2 whole years, thousands of engineering aspirants rush to get an admission in renowned universities. But studies and engineering aside, I want to elaborate about the hostel life. It is the shining light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a place where I discovered myself. I mean my true self; like passion, hobbies, interest and socializing. Doors which I never knew existed, opened up to help me experience a great change in personality. People whom I never knew earlier became my closest friends. Hostel life not only served as a platform for me to enlarge my friends circle but also helped me shape my character, adapt, share and learn to find happiness in every moment.
From a shy introvert and a self-obsessed guy, I had the most amazing transformation into this completely different person who has learnt to identify the flaws in his character accept the change and adapt accordingly.
Words cannot describe the moments that I experienced. I have learnt to “live” and “relish” every day. However, it has all come to an end now. The responsibility calls has made each and every one travel down diverging lanes. It’s really difficult to leave a place you’ve spent the best part of your life in.
As I get into the bus from college back to home for one final time, I look back to see the college slowly fade away into the horizon. Overpowered by emotions my eyes become moist as the memories start running in my head. I have this sudden yearning of spending just one more week at the hostel, with everyone I became close with. But realization hit me hard as I come to understand that it’s never going to be possible again (EVER!).
I saw the bright red dusk sky being engulfed by darker shades as time passed and quite literally it marked the end of the most wonderful chapter.
I desperately await the advent of a new chapter in my life. Now my time is spent contemplating the challenges I need to face in the future. Am I ready? Not for now, but soon enough..
As I struggle to embrace the change, I feel that in this life, there are no regrets, just lessons.

Intellectual Debate Dinner Table

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Opinions?

My last fling with contributing towards this site was eye opening, and also fun.

So here I am, furiously searching for topics to write on. Topics that are viral, the ‘in-things’ people want to read about. Topics which befit Prajnesh Karthic’s opening article for The Opinion.

From writing about the sadness of all the rape and the raging forest fires, to the sheer nonsense of alleged Hrithik-Kangna interactions, and the amazing combination of sadness and celebrity drama that is the Panama papers.

My shelf in The Opinion’s liquor cabinet was more or less empty and I had the power to fill it with either hard hitting booze, or cheaply brewed bubbly. But with great power comes great confusion, and a great deal of time spent staring at a blank word document.

And there came a point when my topic or the lack of it, became my talking point.

What constitutes my opinion? If I can write about anything, how would I write about things in a way dear to me?

How complicated, or how carefully constructed should my thought train be for it to translate into a well written article?

I am told that people can hold any kind of opinion, and that everybody is entitled to one. I have no idea about the vastness and the capabilities of my entitlement, but I intend in fully finding out.

So,

Welcome to TheOpinion.in, I hope to learn more about you and your opinions. You will get to know about mine.

Dear reader, this website will be our intellectual debate dinner date.

Lots of love,

XOXO

Prajnesh Karthic.

Knowledge Flux – Is potential limiting the transfer?

Knowledge Transfer

On the other day in my lecture to III year undergraduate students of chemical engineering, I was talking on how the fundamental laws governing the flow of energy, momentum, and chemical species can be envisaged in one standard form as F = ΔΦ/R  , where F denotes Flux (flow of physical quantity), ΔΦ the potential available for flow (better known as driving force) and , R the resistance to flow of physical quantity.

Presumably, few of them, could relate the standard form (given above) to Fick’s law of diffusion, Fourier’s law and Newton’s law of viscosity and synthesize the commonality between different courses they have, as part of the curriculum (chemical engineering). I am sure, any ardent electrical engineer reading this article can also recognize the standard form referred above can be related to the expression Current (I) = Potential (V) /Resistance (R). Hence, it struck to me that the standard form F = ΔΦ/R is not restricted to one branch of science but is common across all branches of study (Refer to wiki Flux). One can define flux across all fields such as in demography, social science, and economics (to name a few) and describe population migration, cash flow, product demand & supply. This triggered the thought of envisioning transfer of knowledge also as flux term in education.

Restricting to the debatable practices of professional educational system, the process of knowledge transfer is accredited with institutions (schools, colleges, and university departments). In turn, these institutions cogently think that the process of knowledge transfer is the unilateral duty of their work-force (tutors and lecturers). All modern practice of teaching and lecturing are meticulously introduced and followed with due care given to examination, evaluation and reward of this knowledge transfer process, based on percentage or percentile or recently populous letter grade system.

If one views, knowledge transfer as flux F, it is imminent to understand that this flux F depends on available knowledge potential (driving force for transfer of knowledge,ΔΦ) and is hindered by resistance(R). The interesting fact (or commonly perceived notion) is that there is always a finite potential (driving force,ΔΦ)available for knowledge transfer and the process is limited or crippled only by resistance (R). Efforts taken towards introduction and adoption of modern teaching methodologies, improvements brought out in examination and evaluation system can be seen as strategies that helps in decreasing the resistance , such that knowledge transfer flux is effective (enhanced). This is largely because it is well hypothesised that tutors (mostly, the speakers in a typical classroom) are well equipped and have thorough knowledge (understanding in terms of breadth and depth) of their courses than the students (mostly, the listeners of class) and hence, there is always a finite (non-zero) potential available for knowledge transfer flux F to happen. Any loss or decrement in knowledge transfer flux is attributed to poor delivery of knowledge by tutors or to deficit receipt of delivered knowledge by students (both treated as resistance that impedes knowledge transfer).

However, there exists a plausible counter-thought as well (at least on paper). Why not the flux be limited by lack of available potential? Is the potential always finite and non-zero? I wonder, whether any thoughtful debate happens within or outside the portals of institutionalized professional educational system on quantifying the potential ( ΔΦ) available for knowledge transfer to be realized at first instance? Perhaps, such thoughts are seldom considered purposeful for debate in institutions.

I could not keep myself composed with such thoughts boiling just in me, not knowing where, and how to find solution for this counter-thought and approached my good friend over lunch, who shared his opinion that the potential that drives knowledge transfer is seldom quantifiable.

Nonetheless, I leave it to the reader to hang-out on this counter-thought and let me know if this knowledge potential is worth investigating for betterment of educational system.