31 March, 2007

The Namesake

I had read the book about two years ago. Even then, the part of the story which had hit home was not the bit about the young Phd student and his wife in a strange land, but the bit about the son and what he feels about the father.

About the movie - I think it was very well made. Though I am not Bengali, the characters seemed very real to me. I also do not remember the book very well, but I think that the movie did an ok job in giving it life. The story reminded me of a simpler time, back in India and also here. It reminded of me as a person who had just come here - quite a fool I was then (No claims to the contrary for now!).

I wish I could write a better review which would do justice to how good I think the movie is, but some of the things I felt are intensely personal and I would rather let you find your own joys and sorrows while watching this one.

On an unrelated issue, the rank is #8 now, on google.com. I think that regular posts should help take this up a bit more. I would like to make a point about quality of rankings there as well - rank#1 is a dead link and has been a dead link for the past 6 months. WTF is going on!?!?!

26 March, 2007


The first time I could manipulate my dream, when I realised I was dreaming and that this realisation had not woken me up, I was quite happy the next morning. I was unsure that it had actually happened. For all such lucid dreams before that day, I had assumed somewhere in the back of my head that I had been dreaming about controlling my dreams and was not actually doing so.
There was no such thing as Google* then, so such information was not easy to find. In fact, I did not know what to look for to search for such information. Imagine my surprise when I found out that it was quite a common thing (I used to think I was like the superman of dreams), that there is aterm for it - Lucid Dreaming, and sure enough, there is a lot of research and investigation done in this field.
Interestingly enough, there were common themes to such research (the wiki page linked above has a good summary of some of that research) and my investigations. I was broadly concerned about three things - How to have only such dreams, how to restart a dream in case you got too involved and it was no longer a dream and more of a day dream and if such dreams could be used to look into the future (yes, I am like this only!).
My way of trying to have only such dreams was to try not to dream dreams in which I was not aware. However, therein lies a contradiction - if you are not aware that you are dreaming, how do you control/reduce such dreams? The other way of approximating this was to ensure that any lucid dreams, once identified, were strongly encouraged. And that is whatpoint two was about. My way of lengthening such dreams was to go back to sleep to try and continue the dream. However, I read very recently about how rubbing hands in a dream would help lengthen such dreams. The side effect of rubbing hands together is that particular areas of the brain which helps such dreams.
A lucid dream is a cool place to be. But it is a delicate balance - one has to be cautious enough not to stop dreaming and aware enough not to forget that one is dreaming. If ever you also are a fellowlucid dreamer, try looking in a mirror or a watch and funny things happen. Another fun thing to do is to try and read a newspaper. This is something I have been doing and have not yet been able to make sense of what I read... I blame it on the intense media messaging which hits us in this day and age.

And by the way, the title of this post, literally means Dream Sailor-ing.

* There I go about Google again. By the way, this blog got a page rank update and am now on the first page for the search phrase Saurabh Kumar. Yay!

17 March, 2007

The Speed of Time

I am currently going through a phase where there is absolutely nothing happening in my life other than work. The sad thing is that this is not because there is too much work. There is work, but it is a very 9 to 7 variety.

Should my managers be happy? Yes and No I guess. They should be because there is nothing to distract me and that I can only but work. No because not having a distraction can soon become the biggest distraction of all.

Hence this post. How quickly does time pass? A perfectly correct but completely useless answer could be "At the rate of one second every second." It does, but that is just a definition, a measurement of something we feel and count. Even if we did not have a definition, it would still pass. The answer I am looking for has more to do with how does a person register time and its passage. Is it the same for every one? It does seem to pass faster and slower depending on all kinds of things - but does it pass or feel to pass at the same speed, ceteris paribus? Also, if humans could not sense the passage of time, would it matter if time passed? And, do humans sense the passage of time only because we are mortal? In other words, if humans were immortal, would the passage of time be immaterial?

I have realised that I think about strange things when I am not happy. I am not happy. In fact, I want to share exactly why I am not happy, but can not. So I try to think up of other things to write about – and strange things are pulled out from the attic upstairs.

I was watching a documentary about the last days of Birtish rule in India. I realised how I had been neglecting my reading and have been devoting time and energy to the Playstation! Anyway, more on my playstation prowess (or the lack of it) later.

PS: I dont even know if ever anyone reads any of my blogs, simply because there are no comments. Please leave some if you can, just so I know whether I need to shift all this to my hard drive instead of blogger.