21 September 2007

Time Slowed Down

Was it 1989 or 1990? I would think it was 1989. It was our first trip to Guruvayoor in the bike. Yes, Hero Honda 100 CC – the good old bike. As you can guess, bikes weren't as popular as they are now. The traffic was not as bad as today either.

My parents were in their thirties, the society had started accepting the inter-caste married couple. The kids were small (I was 7, my sister was 1). The new house was planned/under-construction. The midlife crisis hadn't started. Altogether, it was very good time.

Hey, I am deviating from the topic. So, we went to Guruvayoor in our own new bike. While coming back, we visited my mother's colleague and our family friend Venu. The plan for the day was over. We (my father) were riding back home.

We entered the main road from the small pocket road. We crossed the main road and we were already on the left side. There was this "Ambassador" car which was overtaking some other vehicle. It happened to be on the same side of the road as us, but in the opposite direction.

Let me move to present tense… [I am going through the event-accident]

I can see the car coming against us. I am the one who is sitting in the utmost front of the bike (literally speaking, on the fuel tank).

The time is slowing down. I am seeing the car, it is sure that the two vehicles are to collide very soon – just a matter of time (a few seconds). They are colliding… head-on.

I am flying in air, just a free flight… towards the car. My head hits the front glass-pane of the car, I can feel the hit but I don't feel pain at all. Now I am on top of the bonnet rolling towards the front of the car. And finally I fall from there to the ground. I feel that the glass is broken and I can see blood flowing from my head….

Back to past tense … back to my explanations..

Yes, I saw and felt all of it … very vivid. What happened after that was just usual – a good man appeared from the crowd, took us from the accident place to the hospital, 2-3 days there in the hospital and finally back to home. We all had injuries, with the exception of my mother. There ends the story.

I have many times explained the whole thing to my mother and she never seemed to believe that I really could see all these so vivid. Yes, all of it happened in a matter of fractions of seconds. But I only knew that I had seen all this really well. I too was not able to explain how do I remember all this so clearly … that too when the situation was really tensed.

Now, after realizing that mind (brain) has the ability to slow down the time during high adrenaline situations – it makes sense that I had really experienced the above explained in full detail. The brain makes it all look like a slow-motion movie or something similar – when adrenaline is pumped in.

And in my case, I remember all of this. :)

Brain is simply great, isn't it?

Signing off, Sands.

PS: I was down with fever for the past 3-4 days and to be honest, it was one hell of an experience. I don't remember being in such a bad situation in the past 3-4 years. :(

12 September 2007


I am overwhelmed with the stuff I have to do. One week away from home and the whole world seems to have turned upside down.

186 mails of which one tenth of them only need real attention and that (18) itself is too much to look at. Well let me start from one end.

Blogging too is one of them and have to do in 2-3 days! – about my trip.

Signing off, Sands.

7 September 2007

Blues... Reds Yellows Pinks Violets

The conference is over. I have 3.5 more days here in Dublin. I have to go around in Dublin and actually have lot of time. I definitely would do that. Have to plan things well.

I am going to think a lot... I feel that I am in a real thinking mood - away from home, away from friends, away from Internet (most of the time). I have a couple of books with me of which I already finished one and have 3 more. I plan to finish two of them before I get back to Germany.

So, the coming 3 days are only for traveling, reading and THINKING: I already feel a little suffocated - with some inexplicable feeling. I always feel this when I think deeply about my PhD. I don't know how to put it - but definitely one of the worst feelings. Get used to it :) [I know that most of the other PhD students can understand it]

So, Now is the break I needed.. desperately. Break from everything, as for the coming 25 days, I have to burn my butts off -- 1) My Interim Report, 2) A small paper 3) Workshop organization 4) MentorING 5) Karthik coming and 6) Oktoberfest.


Most of the scars fade away as time passes. Even the scars made directly on your heart. But there is this single one made by a deep cut - it doesn't seem to disappear. Every time I start forgetting about it, something reminds me of it. This is really surprising that I, of all the people have this kind of a thing.

I take _almost_ everything quite light and also forget (bad)things very easily. This one is still staying.

I would have wanted to ask my readers' help - but I think I am tied. :(

At present I have other things to do... so let me move from the "blues" to other stuff! [read the title]

Dublin is pretty expensive. I already feel that there is a hole at the bottom of my pocket. Money is flowing. But I cannot avoid the unavoidable - enjoyment, fun :)

Let me go ahead and freak out.

Signing off, Sands.

6 September 2007

Fish out of water!

Reporting from an Internet cafe.

I don't have much time today to write all the details. In a hurry to go to hostel.

Today I had my dinner in the dining hall of Trinity College Dublin. A huge hall - about 400-500 years old. I think I was the only Indian in the whole group of roughly 100 mathematicians. I am not sure I am a mathematician.

I don't know --- what am I? mathematician or computer-scientist? whatever .. that's not the question here.

I was sitting among these great people and I was feeling very uneasy; like, whether I deserve to sit among them or not?

I know, those people are really like gods in cryptography and I am nobody. Compared to their knowledge, I am even worse than illiterate. I felt very odd while sitting there.

We were discussing quite a lot of stuff. At the end when the mathematician-couple left, the wife wished me - "You are very young... Get married and have a loooot of children". Just 5 minutes back they were telling the problems they faced while parenting! I mentioned this - just to prove that they were really very friendly and also were like common/normal human beings.

Hey, gotta go. So in a nutshell this is it. I am very proud to have been able to go to such places and dine with great people whom I respect a lot. At the same time... I feel really very odd and kind of inferior when I am there with them!

I should work more and earn it.. earn more than this. A mixture of feelings..! Let me get back to Munich... I have lots to write. I am physically very tired and mentally very energetic... and right now, body wins - I have to get to my room.

Signing off, Sands.


5 September 2007

I am thinking.... - from Dublin

For the first time I am outside mainland Europe. First time in a country where I can simply speak in English - to any stranger/bus-driver/shopgirl etc. This is the farthest I have come from India. I am in Dublin.

For the first time in my life I really followed all the instructions literally - in the flight. Still I was a little worried. :)

It is no wonder they say "ignorance is bliss". After seeing the documentary on plane-crashes and all, I was educated about the precautions to be taken in a flight and hence I was a little concerned. Also, the flight from Munich to Frankfurt was a little rough.

Anyway, the flight from Frankfurt to Dublin was really cool. After sometime in the flight, the pilot announced that we will be crossing the English Channel soon and then fly over Liverpool and Birmingham.

My thoughts surprised me. I related English channel with "Satanic Verses" of Rushdi - the plot begins with the flight from London flying above English channel. The school story of "Cheeses from Liverpool" came to my mind when I heard Liverpool.

And the name which I thought about, when I heard Birmingham was nothing other than "Sherlock Holmes". He had been there for a couple of cases.

All the things I connected with these real places were some novel/story/character. That really surprised(s) me.

I reached Dublin at the scheduled time.

It is bad to compare cities - that too just with the initial appearances. Dublin looks not as clean as Munich. Dublin is a little dark too. People are not really following the traffic signals. Public transportation is OK. More about Dublin and the conference would come later - in a special "Dublin + Conference Edition post".

Now to the title. I was observing -- that I was thinking a lot while flying.. I was even thinking about thoughts -- kind of meta thoughts? Lot of things flashed through my mind all through my flight... and the trend is continuing even after I reached here. You know what? - I am seriously thinking about Philosophy and all those stuff - real serious! [What happened to me? Suddenly?]

I am sitting in an Internet cafe (Dublin has a lot of them). Now it's already too late to get back to my hostel. My feet are killing me - from the long walks .. that too the new pair of shoes is not that comfortable.

Let me make a move.. should reach my hostel by 9:00.

More interesting details later.

Signing off, Sands.