One and Only

The air stills. Leaves bristle. A lone kid cries somewhere in the distance. He looks back at his recent past and smiles, wondering how he had gotten so lucky. Karma had finally caught up, or as his friends put it, law of averages had caught up.

The courtship had been special. He had smelt love in every moment of the mornings he had woken up beside her. Waking up to her beautiful face, hair slightly glistening in the morning sunshine, created a lifetime in a second. A train whistled in the distance. They had met in the most unusual of places, the central library. Unusual for most people, yet so ordinary for the people that they were. Ambitious, as the moon shone green through the leaves of the woods, her memories surrounded him and he wondered when he would kiss those lips again. 

He warped through all the memories and quickly decided to get his days work done quickly. The boss had sent a bunch of mails to him that morning. What a terrible Friday!

Initially, he had been attracted to her super cute looks and the way she played with her hair as she read novel after novel. They shared the same table for weeks, without a word spoken between them. Thousands of words read in those books, not a single one transformed into sound. 

He’d finally caught her on her way home one evening, and asked her to join him for a coffee. They talked for hours about the books they were reading, the lives they were leading and other small talk. 

They laughed on silly incidents till they had tears in their eyes, they fought with a vengeance and fires burned brighter. They cried watching Schindler’s List and Up, they kissed like the world was under threat. Feelings so magnified, like the reflection of the green of a forest in a dew drop. Clicked in Macro, of course. Life, was beautiful. 

He fell for her fascination of imaginary worlds, the fantasy of capturing all those stories and tales in that glimpse of a moment, the smile that it brought to her face. Between life stories and second glances, they fell in love.

The Travel Kick

And here’s another post. So a lot has happened, and a lot will be written about, hopefully.

I started out on the 19th of February, when I made a quick trip to Jodhpur to attend Ignus 2015. The emotions that I felt on this trip are indescribable. It was the fourth edition of the festival with humble beginnings, then known as Ignus 2012, and by, has it come a long long way. Another emotional sentimental call out to all those seven brothers of mine who made this festival possible (you know who you are!)

With Jodhpur under the threat of Swine Flu, quite a few people didn’t turn up, but it was always good to be in a place where people know who you are (oh my ego!) and you are comfortable with your juniors, your seniors and your batchmates turning up around the corner and no one really is looking to mess with you, because that’s the fun of college y’all.

Returning to Bangalore would have been tough, because it would have meant work, but that was my last week at work, yes, I am officially jobless, and hence the last week whizzed by in a jiffy. Which called for another trip, and this time, it was to Goa. I have been to Goa twice previously, once with family, once in my final semester in college (why does 2013 feel like so long ago?) and now here I was, returning to my farewell place, maybe.

Goa is and will always be beautiful. From the crazy party scene of North Goa to the calmness and the peace of the south, every grain of sand and drop of salt water is enjoyed. Add to that new experiences in the food section – Martins and our old favourite -Goodman, and it was a trip to savour. Being the designated driver is fun in Goa, because you get to drive 200+ kilometres on Goa’s beautiful curvy roads through 4 days, and enjoy every moment of the sun, the wind in your hair and the saltiness in the air.

Made even special was the fact that a whole bunch of people I’ve grown to know in the past two years accompanied me, and made this trip so much fun and I admire them all the more for taking out some time to come spend a final few days with me. We tried out the Airbnb cottages, and spent a few nights of luxury having the time of our lives.

Returning back to Bangalore, I made a splash-dash trip to Mumbai before heading out on a 22 day journey through the lands of West Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam and Meghalaya. This was the longest solo trip of my life. I had no agenda, no plan, no company. And it wasn’t a mistake at all. I’ve had so much fun, understood so much about my own limits, my weaknesses, took in cultures, learnt languages, hitch-hiked, got cheated, bargained the hell out of people who don’t like bargaining, and in general experienced life. Travel teaches you so much, it just can’t be put into words.

I will be writing more about this trip, and be sharing a lot of pictures. But once again, this trip would not have been possible without so many people, who helped me before as well as during the trip. I have made an immense number of friends, and I’ve been much better for it. Now it is time to travel again, and I will be relocating to Hyderabad for a year to continue my studies. That’s bound to be another adventure, and another journey with no end.

I have ten days at home before that, and I will have to learn to savour every moment that I get with family, as years go past faster than I can count, the amount of time I spend at home seems to be reducing. It’s now been six years (soon will be seven) since I’ve spent more than a month at home, and it feels unusual to actually be spending this much time at home. When you own home starts feeling strange, maybe you’ve outgrown it, no?

Will write soon about the amazing 22 day trip I had. Watch out for that. As you leave, listen to a friend sing this beautiful rendition of “Feeling Good.” This is beautiful.

Random December Thing.

I’m attracted to you.

I would keep hanging out with you forever if it were possible.

You’re hot, you’re a star. I keep circling around you all day, wondering how it would feel to actually touch you.

I’m jealous that I’m not the closest one to you, but happy I’m at least in your inner circle.

Everyday, you brighten my day, and I feel like breaking this orbit and homing in to you, letting attraction work wonders if possible.

But you look at me with sorrow, crying out to keep my distance, begging me to not burn myself in the process of coming closer to you.

You believe that when we meet, I will be destroyed and life will hold no meaning.

I know exactly what this means.

I’m the earth. You’re the sun of my solar system.

And as long as time remains, I will be around, waiting for you to embrace me and give me your warmth, even if that is the last breath of my life.

What are some trippy thought experiments?

Answer by Jim Stone:

You enter a library, . . .

. . . take a book off the shelf, and notice that it’s filled with seemingly random strings of characters.

You take another book off the shelf. Same thing.

You examine a few more books and notice that all the books are quite similar.

Each book has exactly 500 pages. Each page has exactly 40 lines. And each line has exactly 50 character slots.

You examine a few more books and estimate that there are roughly 100 potential characters (including a blank spaces) that can go into each character slot.

Hmmm. Interesting.

Then you notice a sign that says “START HERE.” You go there, pick the first book off the shelf, and see that every page is blank.

You pick up the next book. It has a single letter ‘A’ in the first character slot, and all the other pages are blank.

You pick up the third book. It has a single letter ‘B’ in the first character slot. And, again, all the other pages are blank.

Then you look out across the library, and the shelves go on and on as far as the eye can see.

Your best guess is that each book in this library is a unique combination of characters, and that, collectively, the books in the library cover all the combinations that can be formed in books of this nature.

You do some quick math and calculate that there must be 100^(500*40*50) books — or 100^1,000,000 (one-hundred to the millionth power) books. 

A vast number indeed.

Then you begin to wonder what books might be out there.

There must be:

  • A copy of “Hamlet," — TAKE THAT, infinite monkeys!
  • A copy of “Hamlet” with one typo.
  • A copy of "Hamlet" with a different typo.
  • A copy of “Hamlet” with two typos.
  • A book containing all the best Quora answers that can fit in 500 pages — including some Oliver Emberton answers that haven't been written yet.
  • An accurate 500-page biography of your life (from your birth until your death).
  • An extremely elegant proof of the Riemann Hypothesis (or is it a counterexample?)
  • A book containing a cure for cancer.

Wow! Just wow!

This is exciting.

Those books are out there somewhere. You just know it.

You have a cure for cancer almost at your fingertips!

Then the reality of the situation hits you, and you realize that the odds of finding any book you might want to find are very, very, . . . in fact vanishingly, . . . slim..

The numbers are just too big.

And there you sit with mixed emotions — torn between absolute wonder at what books must sit in this library, and abject depression because you’ll never find them.

———

This is basically Jorge Luis Borges’s “Library of Babel” thought experiment.

It never fails to blow my mind.

What are some trippy thought experiments?