“Different I am
So unusual my life
My death too, will surprise you
Like untimely rain.
Fond of Poetry
I exist like the cotton crop
it’s root sweet, alike the hard stem of sugarcane.
Of my Death
They’ll say, how it hangs
Like decorations on door frames.”
– Late Shri Krishna Kalamb, a farmer poet
Farmer suicides in India are not new things, but unknown to many as media doesn’t find any space for such matters. I personally came to know about the severity of it after I saw an interview of P.Sainath on World Economic Forum.
The above mentioned Documentary throws some light about the problem at the grassroot level, and how bad the situation was at that time. (Or may be still is ?)
And it does feature two more poems by the same farmer.
Rest in peace.
So here we go. Yet another year ahead. And I am looking forward to it. For it’s not going to be a monotonous boring year like 2012 or 11 (when 99 % of my time I was in a 12 m^2 room), except for the first half of the year where I will be screwing my ass with my master thesis.
Starting the year with learning Haskell. Hopefully it wouldn’t be an unfinished business like many other ideas.
Looking back at school days, I remember Mathematics was my favorite subject. The pleasure of solving math problems at those times cannot be described. With every problem, solved, the greater the feeling of success, achievement.
There was not any topic that I hated. Yes, at some point of time I disliked the chapters about Relations being theoretical in nature. But overall, it was pure pleasure. Trigonometry, Coordinate geometry, Calculus, probability, series, no matter what, it was one of the best thing I had along with disney’s cartoons.
I developed an inclination towards Physics during the intermediate studies. But, I still liked Maths. Just that I had to divide my time in between them.
10 years since then have passed. And somehow, I do not like maths anymore. No. I do like the topics that I mentioned. And I would again love to go through those kind of things. But the maths of the present time, seems intelligible to me. It seems less mathematical in nature. Less analytical. Too much of weird statements, symbols and theories which I fail to understand if they even have any practical significance. People say, maths is not just about solving equations. It is about ideas to describe the nature and so on.
I still didn’t understand how these weird stuff are actually being used anywhere. Many places I have seen, people commenting about maths and relating to programming. Is programming really mathematical ? I have been doing various kind of programming since last 6 years. I never felt it mathematical. All I think about it is logic, sense and common sense, and some arithmatic! Well, thats a little of mathematics. So you would say as a programmer, “Maths ? Where the hell is maths?”.
Right then, you open a book of ‘The Art of Computer Programming’ series, and you’ll say “Programming ? Where the hell is programming. Its all maths!” Then you open some research paper on algorithms, all you’ll find is Maths. Of course they might not be Trigonometry or Coordinate Geometry.
Then you attend a course on parallel programming, where most of the people will be from branches other than computer science. People from biotechnology, geology, atmospheric studies, mechanical engineers. And suddenly you will have a Deja Vu. You will find all your favorite topics of maths are being discussed. Differential equations, oscillations, geometry and everything else in between. And you feel, maths is not boring yet. Its not a just-for-kids subject. There are people, who actually use the maths that we had learned once! And maths has not converged to the theoretical discrete ones that usually computer science people have to study.
And then you realise, the problem with mathematics is its very theoretical (discrete) for normal programmers.
Don’t understand why so much fuss about cooking. Here goes a universal recipe that works with almost anything.
1. Cut onions, green chillis, tomatoes.
2. Fry them in oil.
3. Add the stuff you want to cook : meat/vegetables/eggs anything
4. Add whatever spices you have, and salt of course.
5. Add water and let it cook for a while
6. In regular intervals poke some stuff with a spoon to check if it is done or not.
7. If it looks good, eat it!
Having already read a few books, describing life in the slum, wheather as the main subject of it or as a small chapter, I was skeptical to read another book on the same subject.
But as I started with a few chapters, it was soon unputdownable. It reads like a fiction, but is a non-fiction with all real characters without any change in names. I can say I found the story more or less similar to the fictionalized versions of slum life in Shantaram or City of Joy or A Fine Balance. But in the latter, they were more dramatized.
By the end of the book, it left me with a disturbed mind. Thinking of the growing inequalities in India. The poor, born and dead unnoticed, living a life pretty much comparable to insects. Deprived of education or health, stung by the systematic corruption and struggling to make a life from the rich man’s garbage bin. It will not be wrong to say, they live in a different planet, in a different time.
Then I thought, I was just being an armchair thinker. I dropped the thought, and moved on!
Its a must read, for those who want to understand slums that are seen in any indian city.
Link to the book is here.