The power of imagination that develops perspective is a beautiful aspect of the free mind. It’s fun watching the world with eyes closed. But times change and so do priorities, and the need to keep the eyes open so becomes imperative as the nature of thought changes. Here’s some from the open ones…
Where do you look while sipping?
Yesterday I was invited for dinner at one of my friends’ place. After devouring the fish appetizer with full swing, we eventually sat for the final meal. The loud and raucous room suddenly turned into a peaceful arena, saturated with a spicy aroma of chicken curry. Patiently watching the steam dissipate from my food, I saw one of my friend, in a glance, swallow his full-bodied meal with the mouth full water that he gulped. The way he rolled his eyes while having the cup in his mouth was worth something to muse for the quiet dinner. Before briskly putting the cup down, he surreptitiously looked at everyone’s food again. Watching my friend, eager for another piece of chicken, I sat bemused checking my smile. Out of curiosity, I observed other people as they drank water from their cup. Where do they look while sipping? Do they look at their food? Others food? Inside their cup? And does this mean anything?
As nobody cared to talk over voraciously eating their food (me included), I knew I was not going to be noticed. People gave off nasty chews oblivious to how someone was watching them, inappropriately. While I was reflecting on my earlier friend’s action – which I thought of as one from an ardent food lover (like my dad) – one of my other friend picked her glass as I begun to capture in slow motion. In contrary to the one before, she was quite the opposite. She looked at the water inside, figured it was all right, and took a brief sip while looking inside the cup. In a relaxed way, she kept her cup down with pin drop silence. She seemed to be cautious and careful to not let anyone hear the cup off and on, the sound of her drink flowing down her throat, and the new half-spoonful meal she chewed. Perhaps people looking inside their cup are shy, content or thoughtful, I felt. Momentarily, my other friend gave a burp, took a pause, and gulped the water looking at his half-empty plate. As per situation, I’d say people looking at their own food while sipping are blithe and carefree.
I was just trying to entertain myself in the process of bringing some fun into a quiet dinner. Does this idiosyncrasy provide an insight to someone’s nature? How greedy or generous, shy or confident, rich or poor he/she is? Is it a habit or just a momentary trait? I’ll leave that for you to answer.
Image copyright of www.mirror.co.uk
The earth revolves round its axis as it rotates around the sun, says the teacher. Newton and Einstein successively deduced gravity to promisingly explain the earth’s revolution around the sun. However, the explanation for our earth’s self rotation (wobbling) is, as of yet, unconvincing. It has been like this since the big bang, says science. Possible? Yes. Convincing? No, for the extreme serendipity. The earth rotating around it’s own, and at such optimal speed is something very critical for our existing. Without this rotation, there would be no life on the blue planet. In fact there would be no blue planet! Half of the earth would receive no sunshine and feature no day (literally): a perpetual cold, dark night. Forever. And the other half facing the sun would become red hot; while the dark half, in fact, would become white – ice. Perhaps blue. Or may be not. Since heat propagates in all forms and space, heat from the hot region should flow towards the cold region, and the cold region should therefore become hot in some time. How long would it take though? The hot part might tear away with radiation and the earth might lose its identity by that time. Or the earth might fall into the sun’s pit with the increasing gravity with time. Given the time constraint, will the earth be able to make it to thermal equilibrium? Let’s try to find out.
We need to calculate the total heat energy received from the sun against the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of the earth by one degree celsius. We also have to account the thermal conduction coefficient of the earth to calibrate the heat conduction. The specific heat capacity of the earth is 0.3 Kcal/kg.C, which is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of earth by 1 degree celsius. Therefore, for the mass of the earth (5.972E24 kg), the amount of heat energy required to raise it’s temperature by 1 degree is 0.3 x 4.184 (calorie to joule) x 1000 x 5.972E24. The total energy required comes out to be 7.496E27 Joules. The total solar heat energy bestowed to the earth in a year is equivalent to 3.85E24 Joules. With this input energy, the rise in temperature of the earth’s surface in a year will be = 3.85E24/7.496E27, equaling to 0.5 milli celsius. Given this condition, it will take ~2000 years for the sun to increase the temperature of the earth by 1 degree, even though we neglected the heat loss and the not-so-efficient thermal conduction coefficient of the earth. Nevertheless, the earth should be able to come to thermal equilibrium only to become all red, before its life span.
This idea is only for the sake of thinking and is not derived or based on anyone’s previous work. The only thing that led to its invention is this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcCw1ggftuQ. I am not much into contemporary music, but this song should get you off your chair too. It’s not explicit, you can blast it off your speakers. Enjoy.
The Bhagavad Gita
Coming from a Hindu family, spiritual education was part of the growing process. Such education was pervasive and accessible, but I never felt the need to pursue it. I was too young to relate to the sermons and understand the implications. Last week, a casual, friendly discourse on non-action (Akarma in Sanskrit) incited me to study the Bhagavad Gita to learn to practice Akarma.
Karma – well known in the western society, meaning action or performing a duty – is one of the three Karma Yoga explained in Bhagavad Gita. Akarma – the holy karma – pertains to performing a duty naturally and without obligation, not expecting an accolade, reward or proprietorship. To be able to perform Akarma is an incredible achievement as it requires complete devotion and detachment. It comes as a result of unrelenting Yoga, in which one subjugates the mind and the heart, enjoys the happiness within and is detached from the worldly allure.
Akarma is developed by exploring the deep realm of the mind, heart and in-between. Even though many wish to practice this sacred karma, the mind fails most of the many. The unbridled mind discriminates and makes judgements, calculates cause and effect and decides one’s action. The mind, without you knowing, expects fruit of your actions, and as a result engenders desire, anxiety, distress, hate, anger, ego, envy, confusion and similar temporal disturbances – perpetually. To be able to inhibit such involuntary emotions implies controlling the mind – the unit that controls and dictates the self. Is it possible to dominate this predominating unit and dictate the thought process? The need of guidance, I felt imperative; and to find answers, I pursued the Bhagavad Gita.
The experience was unique and enlightening. Unlike in science, where we deal with the outer space – explore the outside nature and formulate laws and principles, the Bhagavad Gita deals with the inner self. In other words, science tries to explain the way of nature, while Bhagavad Gita explains the nature. Great physicists and scientists of the past have tried to reconcile the two, but the challenge is far from difficult.
Doctor? Engineer? Pilot?
I like to go camping once in a while to get off the city hustle. Last weekend it was me and few lads I have known long enough to sit around fire. The place where I live, we never have winters, so the bonfire was not treasured as you may like. Given the time of year, it was nevertheless more chilly than usual. Enjoying the warmth, we frivolously indulged into conversation not knowing where it could lead. It just started with the question, “Why are you planning on doing a PhD, Nimesh?”. “I want to become a doctor and an engineer at the same time”, I replied jokingly. Additionally, I recounted my culture where elders performed ritual incantation during festivals and said, “Try to become a valuable person. Try to become a doctor, an engineer or a pilot”. I will learn to fly airplanes once I finish my PhD, I said laughing.
Eventually it boiled down to money, life style etc. etc. that one will pass while pursuing PhD instead of a job, which I shall write. Someday.