An indefinite part of Mark’s mornings were dedicated to preparing and consuming a cup of fully oxidized black tea. The gradual diffusion of tea molecules into the hot water prepared him to be calm and relaxed the entire day. Working as a toxicologist in a laboratory, he was accustomed to the odors of a lot of compounds but it was only the aroma of chai laves that could light him up with energy. He would spend a couple of minutes to smell the fragrance arising from the cup, then blow subtle air into it and feel the warm vapors on his face. It didn’t matter to him if he was late for work, he always took some time off to have his cup of nirvana peacefully while sitting on the platform outside the kitchen’s window overlooking the street. These few minutes were the deciding factor for his state of mind through the course of the day. He refused to believe it to be a compulsive disorder. For him, tea was his daily savior.
However, March 31st was not like any other day. It was one year since his breakup with his five year-long girlfriend. Mark woke up earlier than usual and headed towards the kitchen. Everything was at it’s regular place. He picked up the kettle and waited for the water to boil while browsing through the photos of his ex on his cellphone. In one photo, they were in Hawaii on the beach lying next to each other, he held her closely against the backdrop of a valley of flowers in another image from Yellowstone, images from their grad school, a photo of him proposing to her on his knees with a wedding ring in his hand, pictures of them at various parties – all flashed across his eyes that morning.
Sitting on the platform with the tea cup in one hand, Mark gazed as the morning rays slowly spread across the street and switched off his phone. As the rays lit up the kitchen, his hands hanged loose. The tea cup fell down and broke into pieces.
Mark was lying on the floor. The box jellyfish sample from his lab had worked.
Mrs. Murray dreams of a new residence in the last few years of her life. A new home atop the hill overlooking the ambitious mountains and plentiful streams. A new home receiving the sun’s rays prior to the entire downtown. Sitting on the porch of her new home, she wishes to stare at the birds fly into oblivion.
But alas, Mrs Murray cannot climb up the hill with amputated legs.
After the long wait (I mean, after 2 weeks of holidays), sixth semester began today. The first hour of the first day of every semester is dedicated to course registrations, HoD’s address and coarse discussions amongst herds of sheep about GPAs (“she doesn’t even know how to use a micropipette in lab, how did she end up with a 8.36?” and the like). An interesting bunch of teachers would be facing us this time, trying to decode their area of science to us. The methods of dealing with the subjects and tests is refined every semester. We find newer ways to memorize or remember something and get ‘smarter’ by taking up tests.
A new change to the system was announced today – laboratory final exams to be cancelled this time. I don’t support this new change at all. I think lab exams are important. Labs are the only place where we get hands-on experience and where we’re forced to think for ourselves (during exams) while conducting an experiment. Theory exams on the other hand, are more read-from-textbook-and-vomit-on-answer-sheet kind. To be honest, I have understood a few experiments and their concepts only while preparing for, and performing the experiment in lab during the finals.
There is nothing much to say, except that I’m looking forward to the next three months which will be filled with many unexpected events/occurrences and many more comic sans powered powerpoint presentations (lets hope not!).
This is a story about two boys pursuing engineering from the same college. The first boy was not very serious about his courses and just floated through the semesters without worrying or doing anything phenomenal. He got into this college because of the close friendship between his influential father and the college principal. He was also sure of getting a job at a huge company the same way later on. The second guy struggled, got involved and strove to learn the subjects. He may have not been the brightest in the entire batch or in the top 5 percentile, but he was very much interested in the courses and was willing to take ‘that extra step’. He got admitted into the college after getting a good rank in the entrance exam. He even took extra classes to prepare for these exams. He was thrilled to have gotten the opportunity to study in a prestigious university.
So what happened to these guys? The first guy ended up in a good company using his father’s influence and got everything without having to work hard. He completed his engineering with below average scores but still bagged a six figure salary job. (after all, marks aren’t everything, right?) His life remained to be easy and smooth. The second guy ended up with a mediocre job along with a major part of the rest of the uninterested bunch. His life cycle continues the similar way – striving to succeed in work too. His life is now merely reduced to a 9 to 6 job inside a cubicle of an air conditioned room with a five figure salary.