Friday, 6 February 2009

Thoughts from the afterglow

I feel Neo-esque.
When he first sees the Matrix scrolling greenly down a computer screen, he’s flummoxed and stunned. As the movie progresses, his view of the matrix toggles back and forth between the numbers and the ‘real’ world that they represent.And then there comes a sort of epiphany; the views merge and he can see the numbers for what they are. He has grasped a new language.Of course, this is an imperfect analogy (aren’t they all?)But the spirit of the thing’s sort of the same.

Especially when you consider that I was once a little girl who used to cry bitter, desperate tears when faced with my math homework that no amount of cajoling or positive reinforcement (or, on occasion, a sharp smack from my father) could remedy. And now here I am, (resigned or victorious, you decide), not so scared anymore, and finally able to see that behind the big mass of 1s, 2s, 3s and graphs, there’s the world that I am just trying to understand.
(All caveats about the ability of statistics to elicit perfect understanding apply.)

You’re not going to believe this:

I love SPSS.

I’ve just scratched the surface, but if this were a man, I’d definitely be airing out my tiny black dress. He and I have a lot of very seductive dancing coming up.

Flowing from this, three observations about self:

a.) Self is incapable of liking anything. I either love it or nothing.

b.) Love is a necessary catalyst for work. I had to fall in love with SPSS, or my data analysis wouldn’t have gotten done. If you don’t believe me, consider the fact that it’s already 4 months late – all this time, I’ve been trying to get started. I have no doubt that it would’ve come to a choice between ‘Do this thing whether you like it or not’ or ‘Fail your PhD’. I would have gritted my teeth and allowed the latter to just happen. Lame? Perhaps. But it’s in my blood: No love for what you are supposed to do for 12 hours of each day? No can do it.

c.) Erotic love is the only kind. I have to make everything tactile. It’s all about how SPSS clicks and how smooth the curves are (and oh baby, they’re smooth) and how it gets under my skin so I dream of it. Anything less than a full-fledged falling is just not possible. The landscape of my destiny is pitted with cliff-edges, all leading headlong into rapture.

No, I can’t quit the drama and just work. If you want me to, take your dirty paws off my blog at once.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

I have learnt:

Not that it's of the least interest to anyone, but an obscure demographic: The state of Maharashtra, in India, is the second largest sub-national entity in existence in terms of its population.
This is the perfect explanation for why, unless I extend this PhD into a ten year full time job at the head of a team of 20 highly trained and better paid researchers, I should be perfectly happy to smirk that I can actually cover one measly taluka.

Men are despicable.
No exceptions.

It's my mother's birthday today.
Also the anniversary of her mother's passing.
Generation 1 slipped quietly into heaven on this day. Generation 2 is celebrating life and love and inshallah, yet another year of happiness, health and joy. Generation 3 is wondering if there's a priceless life lesson embedded into this particular date.
But mostly, she's instinctively grasped it, methinks, because she lived today to the fullest, wished her mother a happy birthday from the bottom of her heart and vowed to keep 'waking up' in the middle of the day every day and appreciating how precious it is that her loved ones are alive, happy, well, safe, warm (mostly), and, well, that she has more than she can count on the fingers of one hand. Which is twice more than anyone's deserved share, and infinitely more than hers.

Those silk cushions I mentioned in the last post?
One of them has turned into a spectacular success. She is a snow white square (particularly apposite considering that the whole of England is currently this colour), and with a large square of blindly brilliant glittery flat silver sequins on the front. She's sitting in front of the other cushions on my bed and heh heh, she single handedly lights the room. And doesn't come with an off-switch. Goody.


Just to reiterate:
Men are despicable.
No exceptions.
(Except definitely Papa and perhaps the cat.)