Friday, November 13, 2009

woes of a whiny grad student

"It sometimes happens, even in the best of families, that a baby is born. This is not necessarily cause for alarm. The important thing is to keep your wits about you and borrow some money. "

at about the time when kim jung was trying out something with his nuclear arsenal with destruction and madness in his mind, i was born, a warm december afternoon, in a hospital in madras, with people scaring me with their big eyes, big hands, big faces and their big dreams and big expectations of me. somehow, i overcame the first obstacle. I managed to breathe. Till this day, some people who are faced with dire poverty, or who live under extremely hostile environments of bombs would agree with me, that this was the biggest mistake ever.

#1 do not blame anything or anyone for what you are right now. you are a victim of your own actions, and if you cannot take responsibility, too bad. there are people who have to live through nightmares everyday, your life is not exactly like helen keller or suu kyi like.

"if people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is because they do not understand how complicated life is..."-john von neumann

the next few years are a blur. i can hardly remember a single thing. i must have done some idiotic things, which, thankfully have not been retained in my memory, which is an extraordinary feat-my mind is capable of remembering all the useless, tiring and painful memories, and discarding the good ones.
and then diana died, pokemon released and created a frenzy in 1997, when i was drowning in my own inability failing to take stock of my poor mathematical ability, plummeting to the lower rungs of the scary grade list. what does this tell us? comparison takes us nowhere. and it took me there in no time, when i couldnt look my friend in the eye, because my performance was dismal and he was looking like a max planck or galileo. with passing time,my math skills became as unpredictable as dhoni, and in the end, it crashed finally over a span of two years,slowly, steadily.and that is when they decided to have the board exams.

#2 stop that incessant worrying. nobody cares. not even you would care in a few years from now.

"some persons are very decisive when it comes to avoiding decisions..."

i had to make a decision-if you sucked at mathematics, had no talent for arts, were capable of documenting everything, you had to be an engineer, after being dumbed down by an unbelievable crass method of rote learning in your high school.(squarely blaming tamil nadu for my inability to understand partial differentials.)
but no, a decision was difficult because i was young. so, my parents did the right thing, put me in a school indifferent to its pupils,(better than the previous one though), and the vice versa.

#3 sometimes you have to take tough decisions. maybe they might not work out, but that doesn't mean you should give up on it completely.

"what is the difference between a banker and a large pizza? a large pizza can feed a family of four"

somehow, i managed to go through the engineering drudgery, and survived. and then, i made a decision- to quit a perfectly good job in a very decent company, probably in design, going on to design better things; to go to america, without support, in a market that was squirming and choking at the hands of bankers, to the midwest, where the manufacturing sector had completely died a inglorious death.

#4 you make mistakes in your life all the time. move on, its not worth brooding over it. live it, and make peace with yourself.

"all the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams"
and now what?where are going with all this? i keep thinking about the next crash in the stock market, or the time when unemployment is going to cross the triple or the four digit mark.(i think it already has...). my research is routine. so just how many people come up with breakthrough research every other day? we always think of life in purely binary terms. its much more fuzzy than that, in that it has states in between these too(two, pardon the pun)! i was amazed when i was listening to the song "ithu oru ponmaalai pozhudhu" yesterday. i was translated to a land where the song's meaning was everything i could see.

வான மகள் நானுகிறாள், வேறு உடை, பூணுகிறாள்...
ஒரு நாள் உலகம் நீதி பெரும், திரு நாள் நிகழும் சேதி தரும்...
ஆயிரம் நிறங்கள் ஜாலமிடும், ராத்திரி வாசலில் கோலமிடும்....

#5 all we care about in life are too much to handle, when the simple things that we can handle and cherish, we dont care at all!
take care! cheers.

(p.s:i admit without a trace of shame-i stole all quotes from the net.)


  1. How ironic that the title says "woes of a whiny grad student" while the content has a line that basically says "suck it up. your life aint that bad actually".

    Engrossing write up nevertheless. Do you read on behavioral economics and congnitive science?

  2. haha, thanks. i read on anything i can get my hands on. :)
    but i would love to read on economics though.