Block

It has been a month since I started a new chapter of my life as a graduate student in a foreign land. What may I tell you about it? I have been meaning to put my experiences into words for the blog but it seems so hard to write now. Please help me get back to this hobby that I once loved dearly. I’d very much like to contain my memories in this tiny part of the blogosphere. Let’s see where this takes me.

Neil deGrasse Tyson:

The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.

For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.

Just a little update.

Fifth semester ended on Friday and life has been quite nice since then. I watched a couple of movies, roamed around the city, bought books to read and even took photographs! Today is Christmas and I’m sitting in my room writing this blog instead of going out with my friends or cousins. All the plans got canceled at the last minute i.e., today morning :-| Why does this always happen to me? Ugh. I’m guessing even New Year will turn out similarly and I’ll end up watching some television series till 4am without realizing when the date changed to Jan 1st 2012. Just.like.every.single.year.

Anyway, this blog got a lot of readers due to my previous post and now I’m suddenly embarrassed to write about stuff here. There was a time when no one from my real life read this blog and now, suddenly people in college come up to me asking about it. So awkward. College resumed normally after the incident and the exams went well too. My project topic /presentation was a bore to the external examiner I guess (the negatives of taking up a computer science topic and explaining it to a biology professor). But my guide is supporting me in taking it up even in the next semester and that is what matters.

I’ve got a huge writer’s block currently. I try so hard to write something. Anything. But it just doesn’t happen like before. Any help or suggestions for this problem? :(

Facebook: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

Let’s face it: Facebook is a drug. Once you’re hooked, it’s hard to leave. But recently, it’s become a huge mess with N customizations and features. I’d give up Facebook gladly if I could. Really. When a friend recently announced that he’d completely deleted his account, I was the only one who envied him with all my heart. Oh, what a free life he would lead! No more updates, e-mails, stupid tags and obligatory friendships! The only reason why I am still sticking on is for the 2 pages that I run. One, the PESIT Photography Club page (I don’t really “run” it anymore as the other members have taken over it – for which I am very glad and thankful for, but I’m curious to see what’s happening, etc) and the other of course- the START magazine page. It is important to have a regular audience for any initiative to be recognized. It would be very difficult to spread word about every new issue and updates without it.

Facebook (or any other social networking website for that matter) can be used wisely if you know how to take advantage of it and not get sucked into it’s mesmerizing stalky behavior. The best thing I did was to disable my wall and tagged photos. I also disabled anyone from tagging me in images and posts. This reduced the number of spam e-mails and kept my personal life intact to an extent. Now, I get to share whatever I want with only a certain set of people. It has also been much of a pain with plagiarism and other issues. I’ve had some person use my photo as her profile pic (O__o) and she simply refused to take it down. Reporting the profile/photo didn’t help either.

In today’s times, I feel it is important to get your work recognized among your peers and seniors. How else would anyone select you to take photographs for their cultural event? Or, how else would anyone get to know that you won the first place in debate and invite you to their marketing team? How else would anyone offer to collaborate with you in their future project? It is also one of the easiest (and free) medium to communicate with people – all at once. I could easily get in touch with folks working on a project similar to mine and interact with them through messages. It is necessary to know where to draw the line though, and to realize that it is what you make of it instead of what you give to it. So yeah. I could go on and on but you get the point.

P.S. – I participated in a debate regarding Facebook last semester in college- most of the points here are taken from it. This was written randomly after I saw the f8 conference. It would be interesting to see how the world evolves with Facebook. And people’s reactions are always priceless! I’d like to be the silent watcher of the future events. 

interesting untranslatable words

I came home soon from college today. I see no point in sitting aimlessly in a class where the teacher announces that he is in “no mood to teach today” and that we must stay in class and “do some studious work” :-|

Anyway, I’ve found a list of some interesting untranslatable words that I thought I’d share with y’all. It’s interesting how there is a word to express an emotion or a situation in a foreign language but not in our own. List of - Yes, there’s actually a word for it!!: 

  • Ya’aburnee, of Arabic origin, meaning “you bury me”. It is used to express the hope that one will die before another person as it would be difficult to live without them.
  • Saudade, of Portuguese origin, referring to the feeling of longing for someone or something loved, but also lost.
  • Mamihlapinatapai, Yagan (of Tierra del Fuego), used to describe the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start.
  • Cafuné, Brazilian Portuguese, tenderly running your fingers through someone’s hair.
  • Wabi-Sabi, Japanese. “A way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.”
  • Duende, Spanish, the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.
  • Toska, Russian. “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases, it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into boredom.”
  • Tartle, – The act of hestitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.
  • DépaysementFrench – The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country.