Sunday, November 29, 2009

My first video recording

From last two years, I have been gathering courage to record a documentary on science. I believe a good documentary on importance of science to our lives and development would inspire millions of Indian Students to dream to be Einstein or Newton. There is a desperate need for science revolution in India, something on the lines of ‘Renaissance’ for Europe. I hope my little documentary on science can contribute to such revolution. Before producing the documentary, I wanted to get some hands-on experience before camera.

Yesterday, with the help of my sister, I recorded a video in which I shared some of my thoughts on my research paper ‘Discrete energy bands in FLRW cosmology’. Since this paper is written in Hindi, the recording is done in Hindi language. Those of you know Hindi can view the below video.

Honestly, it wasn’t as easy as I considered it to be. Facing camera is exciting but at the same time, challenging too. As soon as the camera started rolling, I used to go completely blank. The words just don’t form sentences. I noticed that I shake my hands a lot while trying to make gestures, I raise my head often than keeping it straight, I fumble with the words, I keep saying ‘aaa’ when I don’t find an appropriate word, I sometimes mispronounce the words (once I pronounced, ‘parikalpana’ as ‘palikalpana’) and so on.

Overall, I got to learn lot of stuff. Somewhere, I knew that, when you are so bad at first time, either you will never do it again or you will improve. I think, I can only improve from here. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of my presence on YouTube and lot to follow in future.

Feel free to pass on your comments and feedback about the above video at

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Understanding life and the power of God

Often, we misunderstand that life is totally under our control and our actions control the future. And then, we face circumstances in life that teaches that, certain things are beyond our control. Even though, I had been into this situation earlier, I didn’t actually learn a lesson resulting in a false belief that my actions decide my future. The story goes something like this. Until the final semister of my engineering, I never paid attention to my future goals. I did what I found exciting. Wrote papers, visited colleges, conferences and symposiums. And whenever, somebody asked, I had the offer from TCS to say. During the final semister, I found myself a bit out of place when compared to rest of my friends. Joining TCS was my last option but I had no other options in hand. I thought of joining some research institute as junior researcher. The salary offered for junior researchers in India ranges from Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 1,50,000 per year ($2000 – $2,500). I knew, this was way too less for a researcher but that’s how it is in India. People here don’t think research as profession here. But I wanted to be a researcher because I can be one.

Just when all these thoughts were going on in my mind, one of my very dear friend, Kiran Natoo, asked his Uncle to refer me at Microsoft. I was called for a written test, followed by couple of interviews… I joined Microsoft on March 5th 2007 as an Intern. It’s been over two years since I joined Microsoft as full-time employee but I haven’t yet met Kiran’s Uncle. I just had one email intereaction with him, in which I wrote that, I will meet him when I earn a ‘name’ in Microsoft. Life totally changed after I joined Microsoft. I had the liberty of waking up 1 PM in the afternoon and staying late in the office till 3 AM, that’s exactly the type of work enviroment I wanted. When all this was happening in my life, I didn’t learn the lesson that life isn’t in our control. Think about the sequence of events that happened, Kiran was in search of a sample resume to prepare his resume, I sent him my resume as sample, he shows it to his Uncle, his uncle feels I am good enough to be at Microsoft so he refers me, I get a call from Microsoft to attend a written test and I subsequently join Microsoft. This whole sequence of events were purely out of my control but yet, they happened. But I never learnt the there was something ‘God’ who was deciding on all the events that were happening beyond my control.

Then, after joining Microsoft, I started talking with a girl on Yahoo Messenger. Soon, we started liking each other and I fell in love with her. We met couple of times and I proposed her. Now, the situation is that, the girl just likes me and isn’t ready to take it further. Of course, there are other issues like she being Shia Muslim and my parents being Sunni Muslims which played a major role in her decision. Again, when all these were happening, I was under an impression that, I can control things and life will proceed as I want it to. Given my nature, I kept creating tasks for myself, that I need to do in. And everytime I heard a ‘no’ from her or about any other guy talking to her, I was hurting myself. There were silent tears and unspoken moments. And sometimes, I used to get really angry. By the way, I really need to do something about my anger management (will post about this on my blog soon).

From a month or so, I started getting a realisation that, I am being impracticle about life. There are things beyond my control and unless those things fall in place, there isn’t a way that her decision will change. Even if I manage all the circumstances to the best of my abilities, if it isn’t meant to happen, then it won’t happen. That is one of the most profound realizations I ever had. I think, this is where your faith in ‘God’ comes into picture. Would you leave the biggest decision of your life in the hands of God?

Abu bakr

And the answer I got was ‘Yes’. If God wants this to happen, it will happen by all means and she would marry me. And if God had decided something else for me, then that will happen for sure.

I think, everyone among us learns this lesson in life sooner or later. We don’t fully control our lives, our major decisions are influenced by the power of God. All we can do is, give our best shot and if it works out, then God is with us and if it doesn’t then God is testing our faith. At the moment, all I can say is, I love her and I want to marry her. But there are lot of unanswered questions. Will she accept? Will the circumstances lead to our marriage? Will she be with me the rest of my life? I have no answers to these questions and I will not make any attempt to answer. I have left it to God to decide on what he wants in my life.

I am immensely thankful to God for sending her in my life for all these years. She has had a great impact on my life and my way of thinking. May be, within few months she might get married to someone else, may be, she will get busy with her life and forget me, may be, I will have no place in her memories… or may be… it can just be the opposite! Allah shall decide the future…

Friday, November 13, 2009

Burt Munro – We remember you!

Yesterday night, I watched an inspiring movie called “World’s fastest Indian”. It’s based on the life of Burt Munro, played by Anthony Hopkins. Burt Munro is a motorcyclist from New Zealand who spent 47 years in modifying a 1920 motorcycle model and eventually set the world record for reaching the highest speed for under 1000cc category at the age of 68 in 1967. His world record still holds good.

I was in tears while watching the movie. Munro purchased a motorcycle in 1920, whose maximum speed was 54 miles per hour. While working as a motorcycle salesman, Munro saved every possible penny to modify his motorcycle into a racing bike. After 18 years of relentless effort, Munro set the record for maximum speed clocked for New Zealand and Australia. His will power, enthusiasm and belief that his techniques can work deserve respect. He then spent next 20 years saving money further modify his motorcycle and participate in annual race at Bonneville, US. His journey of life was full of hardship and lack of money but he always believed that he could set the record. Imagine a 67 year old man with a 1920 motorcycle, participating in a race in 1967 and setting the world record!

After the movie got over, I stood in front of the mirror for about 30 minutes while interviewing myself. I wanted to see the inner me answering the most difficult questions. I wanted to see the light in my eyes if there is any, I wanted to see the expression over my face while feeling the pain of failure and pleasure of success. I asked myself,

· Will I be remembered by people long after I am gone?

· Do I have the passion and dedication that would lead to success?

· What distinguishes me from the rest of the crowd?

I heard myself giving answers to myself. I know, this is a strange exercise - however, it gives strong results. It will let you know what you are and where your life is heading. It will help you understand what success means to you.

While giving the answer, I felt that I wasn’t honest about my passion and dedication towards my goal. Right now, there are too many things going on in my brain. It’s crazy sometimes. You just don’t know what to do. I am going through something which I could like to call as ‘quantum vacuum fluctuations”. Right now, there is so much of vacuum in my life and its fluctuating like crazy. I am in love with a girl who thinks it will not work-out, nobody reads my research papers and then I get distracted by Kristen Stewart! I am just kidding about Kristen, though she is amazingly beautiful. I think she resembles the girl that I am madly in love with. Somebody told me that, if you are in love, you see her in every girl. I don’t know how far that’s true in this case.

Anyhow, jokes apart, I seriously feel, I need to rethink about my passion and dedication towards science. Time is passing by at a rapid pace and I have a long distance to cover. Alright, so I have decided to maintain a timesheet on where I am spending my time. Let me see, how accountable I am to myself.