The Bright Son - A Vivid Memory

The day he was put in my hands,
There was nothing else that I could see
No pristine or virtuous a joy
Like this could there ever be.
His big sparkling eyes, his lustrous smile,
His delicate golden fur, and his amiable style,
Leashed my heart to his.
I knew, he may not be my son by birth,
But he would be mine by hearth.

I stroked him, as he lay on my lap,

I kissed him as he laid still.
I fed him, nursed him are cared for him,
Whenever he was down with a chill.
In his dark brown eyes,
Shinning with joy..
He may not be my son by birth,
But in his eyes I could see the girth.

The first time he barked

And everytime he pranced,
My heart skipped a beat.
His suave and subtle pranks,
His angelic and naive expression of thanks,
Made me applaud and marvel at his feat.
He may not be my son by birth,
But my heart was intrigued
by his innocent mirth.

As he lay in his peaceful slumber,

I wept by his side,
My palms and knees a burnished umber.
As he lay quietly in his grave
He made me proud and august
For even in his death,
he was valiant and brave.
He may not be my son by birth,
But he was mine as he went into the earth.

There may be so many others,

but he was inimitable and singular.
So convivial & upbeat, so ardent & faithful.
He may not be my son by birth,
But he is even more precious and adorable
Than the one by birth!


Quotidian events which are typical in the mundane lives of ordinary people, leads me to a train of queer and anomalous thoughts. Apprehensive of my own speculations, I decided to pen them down. Petite incidents like forgetfulness or lack of attention in a long and irksome lecture make me wonder which genetic or chronic neurological disorder it may proclaim. Pursuing a highly demanding and intensive graduate program in Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience may or may not have enriched my academic proficiencies, but it surely has eroded my brain irreversibly and driven me towards partial insanity and hyper-paranoia.
I have often been audience to narrations of my programmer friends communicating by C or C++ and anecdotes about the discussions of my mates from the engineering precinct about the structure and design, the wiring and networking or every edifice or machine in their sight. As a biologist, I can ascertain that we are no different from any of them. Biologists also tend to perceive every minute element around them in the light of their acquired knowledge. They also harbor an ability to see ‘the unseen’ or read between the lines and jump to speculations in a flash. However such contemplations are not always constructive. Abstract and creative by nature, categorizing myself as an archetypal biologist was not a part of my anticipations for myself :)
Episodes of oblivion on barging into a room are not very rare. Although it is a hallmark of the elderly, the younger generation with a saturated mind also faces such peculiar situations once in a while. Most people would simply accentuate on the purpose and forget this incident. Whereas for someone like me, with a detailed awareness of all possible neurological and cognitive disorders it may denote, it is arduous to overlook all the attached strings. Such an incident inclines me to ponder if this is simply a result of profusion of the young minds or a syndrome of Dementia which would then make me prone to several other autoimmune diseases in the later stages of life. As I live in a multilingual surrounding and hardly have a chance to communicate in my mother tongue, at times it is onerous for me to articulate a homogeneously unilingual sentence. On such occasions, the initial thought that fleets through my mind is that maybe this is caused by Dysphasia. Apathetic feelings or depression which sometimes overwhelm my mind also lead to the thought if the momentary frustration and stress are responsible for such demeanor or if it is a symptom of premature Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease or Schizophrenia. Paraesthesia, fatigue or acute pain which maybe traits of minor infectious diseases or just a stressful lifestyle, leave me wondering if these are symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, a prevalent autoimmune disease in the Western world. When I step outside the house and observe the world around me, I do not behold the beauty it encompasses but I emphasize on the gait and posture of the people around me. Any stooped posture or uneven gait that I observe, impels me to surmise if the person is a Parkinson patient or one on the advent towards the disease. Speculations over such introspections further lead me to think that maybe such delusions are a Schizophrenic symptom. Sporadic visual and auditory hallucinations, which ensue every now and then, also back these deliberations.
Nevertheless I am absolutely conscious that these contemplations are just frantic illusions of an ardent and transcendent mind. It is, therefore, aptly said that too much knowledge is injurious to health, mental health in my case. Perhaps ignorance is the best policy :)

Gossip Girl - The End Of A Season

It is said that the end of a season marks the beginning of a new one. But it is not the case always. The end of a season on the small screen is evinced by the Season Finale. I am primarily of a capricious and frivolous ethos. I am neither as gracile and svelte as are the hallmarks of the charmed circle nor as flamboyant as the princesses of fairy tales. But a recent addiction to the tele-series ‘Gossip Girl’ has made me relate to the covert feminine and dainty side of me. Not that gossip is an attribute of the delicate sex, but the urge to know every prittle-prattle in foreign enclave has always been a major part of feminine enthusiasm.
With sun shining bright and the heat building up, we bid adieu to our favourite characters. As they prepare for a new twist in their lives we are forsaken to speculate upon what comes next. And the new beginning has to wait. The end of this season of Gossip Girl denoted the end of high school for the young protagonists, and the beginning of a new era, namely college.
While some like Serena van der Woodsen and Nate Archibald getting a place at the alma mater of their choice, others like Blair Waldorf aka Queen B, and ‘lonely boy’ Daniel Humphrey were impeded of their volitions despite their inimitable efforts. However the highlight of the season finale was the romantic reunion of the two most sought after couples of small screen, the high profile Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass, on one side of the bridge between the young and the ‘not so young’, and the legendary duo with a revolutionary history, Lily Bass and Rufus Humphrey on the other. On a more sombre note, it also brought about, yet once again, the split between the other amorous duo Dan and Serena.
The finale tagged each one on the ‘Upper East Side’ with a label. Daniel Humphrey was promoted from “the lonely boy” to “the ultimate insider”. Now nobody on the ‘Upper East Side’ or even in Brooklyn could comprehend when that transition ensued. Probably Lady Serena and Lady Luck both smiled at Dan simultaneously. Our very own Queen B was called “a weakling” and Chuck ‘Casanova’ Bass “a coward”, which compelled them to walk past their tags and prove Gossip Girl wrong. News is, just when Queen B was all set to shift her kingdom to the Yale-land, Chuck said the three magic words and they sealed the deal with a passionate kiss on the sidewalks. Perhaps both of them were too tired of fighting against their love for each other. A love story too entangled to be sorted out in the finale alone. Speculation leads to wonder how this unusual love story will unfold next fall.
Meanwhile Serena was so scared of the spotlight moving away from her that she decided to take Gossip Girl down. But she was far from successful and instead ended up celebrating her faux pas. The amicable and subtle Nate Archibald was finally back in the limelight with the label of “a class whore”. Maybe that calls for some enlightenment. With his innovative financial cum sexual ventures of the summer, this is a well deserved label, and a label that will stick.
Apart from leaving last impressions, another motive of the season finale is to build up an interest among the audience for the forthcoming season. For the same, numerous unanswered questions are left open at the end of a season which keep the audience cogitating.
With high school graduation for the class of 2009, there comes the termination of the ‘Mean Girls’ rule in Constance. Will there be a new assortment of ‘mean girls’ making life tough for the new juniors or that tradition will be history from now on?
Will the ‘Mean Girls’ come to terms with the forced coronation of Little Jenny by (ex-) Queen B? And what exactly led to the election of Little J from Brooklyn over all the silk stockings in Manhattan’s social circle?
With the Van Der Woodsen and Humphrey divine union in line, what would be the pre and post wedding scene in Brooklyn and the ‘Upper East Side’?
The past seasons have witnessed ripples of love and conflict between Dan and Serena. But with their parents all set to tie the knot, is there any prospect for their romance to bloom in the future?
With Lily Bass adopting the Humphrey last name, Little J will be adopted by Manhattan’s social circle. So will Little J be sucked into the elite quagmire, now that she will be rich and famous?
Will young Archibald abandoning the Mayor’s office and joining Brooklyn girl Venessa for the backpacking trip across Europe, re-instigate a romantic spark between them?
Ms. ‘Love Struck’ Waldorf is heading for her dream college Yale with the Bass heir at her arms. And with Georgina ‘bitch’ Sparks back in town (or room indeed) is all going to be well for her?
What is Rufus and Lily’s illegitimate and apparently ‘dead’ son Scott doing in Brooklyn? Does he know what they did?
And last but not the least who is Gossip Girl? Is she really inside each of us or is it just a facade used to conceal the real identity?
And yeah with everyone in the circle in different colleges, how is Gossip Girl going to stick to her promise and be around? She has to enhance her capabilities of being omnipresent and omniscient.
With all these ruminations, I have too much on my mind, at least enough to keep me busy for a while. However I am eagerly looking forward to the new beginning spiced up with all new gossip, drama and the answers to my questions. Sometimes I wish if only life could also come at us in seasons, we could take a break from life and just enjoy the sun.
So for now.. xo.. xo.. Gossip Girl !!

Virtues & Vices

The line between these two V-words is indeed very thin. Over the years and across the paradigms of culture and religion, both of these words have evolved far beyond imagination. For most people these words define what is accepted and what is frowned upon by the society they live in. While for others these words draw the religious boundaries. Just like everything else in life, the reference used for these terms also varies according to the context. This world has witnessed numerous amendments to the virtue and vice code as per the convenience of the society. The definitions have been manipulated numerous times by opportunists of various calibres, from famous politicians to religious teachers, communist leaders to infamous fundamentalist religious governing bodies. During the two decades of my life on this planet I was presented with different explanations for how virtue diverges from vice. Nevertheless I developed my own interpretations, which I shall impose upon no one but myself.
Virtue and vice are not exclusive for me. They are overlapping elements of a gigantic pantheon known as the ‘human mind’. They are counterpoising terms, see-sawing between which leads to the equilibrium of the inner self. Virtue, to me is not only moral excellence, but a thought or deed that leads to individual as well as collective peace and well being; for narcissistic excellence is of insignificant stature. Likewise vice does not implicate an immoral or depraved practice only, but a thought or an act that places the serenity and welfare of oneself and the civilization at jeopardy. Therefore it can be said that virtue and vice are the penumbra of each other, and what matters is which one of them is illuminated and which one forms the shadow. Initially my perception of these terms may appear rather altruistic, but with deeper insight it is prominent that I place ‘the individual’ at the focal point. However these presumptions are upheld by the Law of Chemistry, “The characteristic of a matter is determined by the properties of its composition elements.”
“Forgive those who sin against us”, preaches The Holy Bible and therefore it prevails as the foremost virtue. But to expect of humans to illustrate a divine virtue, is rather spurious and ambiguous. Vengeance is a sin but punishment is simply a form of self defence. To let unpunished who wrong against us, might provide an opportunity for atonement, on the other hand it might also turn out to be yet another chance to ‘strike back’. Moreover refraining from retaliation may convey a sign of being timid and feeble. I sincerely believe in the principle that, “Those who bear injustice in silence are no less responsible than the sinners themselves.” Therefore the bona fide virtue is not to forgive those who offense but to retaliate and defend oneself and the mankind against injustice and offense. Forgiveness might lead to greatness but it is the fortitude behind which cowardice is camouflaged.
To strive for success and rise high is considered a prodigious virtue. But is success in accord with virtue. Analyzing the prevalence of virtuous men in the history of mankind who have been successful in their lifetimes makes the answer quite evident. In this race from rags to riches, success is even more exorbitant than a Gucci dress and pair of Chanel shoes packed together. This extravagant disbursement is met by compromising one’s conscience and morals. Conquering one’s ambition necessitates the stepping up on the forsaken & striving, and abusing the opportunities of the down trodden and less fortunate. Then the question arises if such selfish and opportunistic actions connote to a virtue.
Humility and honesty are other significant virtues nurtured inherently. But are these virtues instrumental in the ascent of life? Certainly, but for the adversaries only who efficiently abuse them. A humble and honest person is often preyed upon and victimized by colleagues be it in a professional set-up or a familial one. Being humble does not imply that one should underestimate the inherent competence and be subjected to oppression and humility. Honesty is a weapon which should be used with great comprehension. A prevarication for the welfare of all concerned parties and maintaining accord and harmony in the society has been termed as ‘White Lie’ or ‘Noble Lie’ by the great philosopher Plato. Having said all this, I do not advocate pride and dishonesty. I agree that these are indeed much worse vices than absolute humility and honesty.
To love unconditionally is also a rare virtue, at the same time it is a vice against oneself. Unselfish and unconditional love when reciprocated is like a sweet fragrance which enriches every life it touches. But when not mutual, it is like a parasitic symbiosis which leads to constant depletion of the mental and emotional health of both partners. It is said that love has no boundaries and it conquers all. But sometimes love poses as the major barrier and marks the circumference of the personal space of the loved ones. Here I do not speak of romantic love only, but also platonic and maternal love. High expectations, possessiveness and envy pose major barricades in the path of love, which demean one’s faith in the loved ones and render them bereaved and suffocated in the servitude of love itself.
Another virtue upon which great historic importance has been bestowed is chivalry. The courageous and valiant have been showered with respects throughout the history of mankind. Emperors, kings and knights have been granted magnanimous titles. But nerve without wit is a fatal combination. Gallantry paired with ingenious strategy leads to victory. In life too, it is essential to have the valiance and audacity to face the consequences of one’s decisions and actions. However one should also harbour the intelligence and wisdom to contemplate a strategy to play the game of life.
Gluttony, one of the seven sins, is merely a form of self-indulgence and merry making. Although strongly despised by several religious propaganda and considered an antagonist of piousness, it is only a means of recreation and joy. These petite joyous moments assemble together to form a library better than known as ‘life’. Such leisure times are opportunities to make new relationships, cherish old ones and celebrate the current ones. Unless such activities lead to a rowdy spree which perturbs the regular life of the other members of the community, gluttony is simply a form of enjoyment and amusement which should not predominate one’s life but be a good part of it.
Therefore, in my perception an honourable and virtuous man is not one who conquers his ambition by employing any means, but one who is considerate and strives to achieve his goals independently. A virtuous man is capable of taking failures and setbacks in a positive spirit and using them as a mirror reflecting his own mistakes and lapses, a man who values love and at the same time knows how to set it free as per requisition of life, a gallant and fearless man who never steps back from taking a plunge but also anticipates the depth of the plunge in advance, a noble man with the ability to put petty issues and grievances aside to appreciate the beauty and miracles of life and a man of character who is humble, honest and forgives a genuine mistake but stands up to the world when oppressed or abused.
My concepts of virtue and vice are not based on any religious or philosophical scriptures. They are inspired by life and the plethora of experiences in the realm of life. Although it may appear that I am an unconventional thinker, I consider myself realistic and contemporary, but not stereotypically idealistic. Maybe in this fairly new and reformed world “unconvention” is the new convention.

On His Blindness

WHEN I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
'Doth God exact day labor, light denied?'
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur soon replies, 'God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.'

by John Milton


I am probably the most unusual child of a typical Oriya household, where the perception of a girl child is comparably better than several other narrow-minded and prejudiced Indian communities. Despite my rather passive and simple adolescent life, with most of my time dedicated to enriching my lingual skills and etymological knowledge, I also had my rebellious highpoints. Although not even half as eventful as the lives of the daughters of the silver screen, I had my share of heart breaks, misunderstandings, disagreements and conflicts of the heart and mind. Just like any other regular teenager, the quest of my destiny ruled my mind all through the formative years. Destiny here does not imply to any bequeathed fortune, but the answer sought in each and every class essay and school debate. But the only answer I could allege was a vague dream, a vague dream of dwelling in the Swiss Alps. There was no obvious quintessence for such a fantasy, considering that I was born on a different continent altogether.
I call myself unusual not because of the uniqueness of who I am, but the atypical way in which I was brought up. As a girl, several expectations were associated with me, but these lacked the highly prejudiced gender bias which dominates the minds of the elderly community. I was provided every opportunity to excel on any path I chose. I was allowed to develop my perception of the world around me without any parental impositions. Nonetheless I still could not pave a path that would lead me to my dream. At this moment of utter confusion and ambivalence, moonlight dazzled upon a clandestine path. Close perusal of the history of mankind reveals not too many (especially those belonging to my sex) tread this path. But endless efforts of my father and his inclination for giving me the best landed me at a place where I learnt life. Although this place was 5000 miles away from home, I never felt ‘away from home’. I established some perpetual alliances which have and will stand high despite the turbulences of time.
For all that I have gained so far, I am eternally grateful to my parents for their constant support in all my choices and endeavours. They have not only stood by me but also been a part of all my aspirations. Although not a parent yet, I have learnt the most important lesson of parenting from my parents. So as it is said, “Learn the art from the masters themselves”. But that is not the end of the story. Far away from my perfect world, there are people scrutinizing my choices and those of my parents. Each time when the sun shines bright and I head east, there are a thousand minds which are aroused by the thoughts of why I had to ‘cross the seven sees’ for education. Some behold me as success personified, while others sceptically try to read between the lines and figure out the real incentive behind the path trodden. At times, my parents faced accusations of overlooking their responsibilities and shoving me out of the way. There are some who gaze at me through eyes shining with marvel and at the same time there are others who consider that I conveniently abused the partly-existent financial privileges.
Moving on, I am appeased with the choices made and given an opportunity, I shall leave no stone unturned to outshine my destiny. As for my dream, here I am, just a couple of miles away from my envisaged destination.