Quote #25

You learn, what you are capable of.

The kid

Yesterday evening while returning back to IITB, I found that even after like 5 bus stops(or more) had passed, the seat besides me was vacant. I looked around and the bus was pretty much filled. Not that, I wanted someone seated besides me but still the thought was stacked in somewhere in my mental stack as to why wouldn’t someone consider sitting besides me(also I was seated halfway from the start.) while I continued reading(a book called – “Philosophy of Mathematics”). “Maybe it’s my beard or my mustache”, I said to myself.

After a while(yeah obviously, not sitting besides me is a worse option than standing) an old (probably Maharashtrian) lady sat besides me with a very small kid (wondering how small? – yeah he still had 270 bones and “cried” to convey what he wanted) The kid was very energetic and keenly observing everything around, trying to grab things, put them in his mouth, be extremely unstable, fussy, unsatisfied, searching, learning and most importantly watching. Learning entirely through what they see. Just purely interested in watching and learning. The amazement on seeing something new and eyes wide open or perfectly shut. No double standards. Pure.

After sometime, the baby started crying and moving randomly as if it was searching for freedom, wanting something. The old lady didn’t know. Some woman standing behind tried to make faces and made the baby smile for exactly 12 seconds. After that, it started crying again. Extremely irritated by something, not known. Then after sometime it faced me for the first time. I looked at him and smiled. He at once smiled back. He stopped crying at once and it lasted more than 12 seconds! “Maybe it’s my beard or my mustache”, I said to myself. Well, then I asked myself, where was I? I had 3 women, an old lady carrying the kid and the kid itself all staring at me at the same time, all waiting for me to do something, something magical which will keep the kid smiling(or at least not cry). I clapped and waved my hand to the kid and he continued smiling. This kid was a keen observer and unlike most, his view didn’t change, I was clapping and making sound with my fingers, but after some time, he stopped following my weird sound-making attempts. He concentrated way too much on things. As I was sitting on the “window-seat” the kid started looking at the fast moving vehicles outside the window. Ohh, he was very amazed! His eyes wide open and unmoving. Then he started making attempts to catch the cars by actually jumping out on me and trying to grab the cars as they pass by! This act was magical. He did for a long time and finally paid attention to me, and I at once smiled. He noticed, I was reading something and then he looked at me, then looked at the book and then again looked at me; as if he was trying to ask me what I was reading. Again, that stare. After that, he got a bit naughty and started pulling my kurta. The old lady by then had some smile on her face (after the initial trouble) and she was trying her best to keep the kid away from pulling my kurta!


I have changed. Everyone changes, with surroundings, with experience, with knowledge, with learning. Change is the art of life. Change is pretty much what we talk about every now and then. Remember the last joke you laughed on and fell down from your bed, remember the last “news” – all these are nothing but changes that are more intensified than others and hence worth discussing about. These often bring out an emotion in you, you laugh, you cry, you whistle, things keep changing, they just keep changing and changing.

But the other type of change I am talking about is the one which follows the concept of microscopic reversibility. These changes are a result of linear combination of all the smaller changes. These small changes are reversible and infinitesimally small as in the case of reversible isothermal expansion resulting in maximum work. These changes occur really slowly, without you knowing that you are the part of this reaction. Obviously, this is a very long process and at the end of say a month or 2 years or 5 years or more, whenever you start visualising that change, you search for older things. It is difficult to move but time does it for us.

It is like you are on an escalator in a mall. You are talking to a friend. After sometime you are down or up! You keep talking and then you realise you reach where you had to. Now consider the case when the escalator stops in the midway due to some electricity failure. At this point you realise you will have to walk your way up and you might momentarily stop talking. Bad you have to walk up! At this point, nature tried to tell you what had changed before the desired or “planned” process ended or maybe this was the “planned” process, whatever the case. You realise you were in the reaction mixture unconsciously. You never stop to make a decision like getting on an escalator which is obvious and your mind never asks you to. Its only after some considerable changes, that you figure out and try to act on it or regret your earlier decisions. There are infinite variables around you and me changing at infinitesimally small rates under certain laws and constraints set by time.

We are always in this big reaction mixture and a part of many reactions at the same time. You can apply all the laws and chemistry you have ever learned and complicate the model. Basically like chemistry is so vast with n possibilities, life too is, infact much more as life contains chemistry :)

Similarly, I see myself as this new zubin. I have changed by this model. I can neither laugh at it, nor cry. I can neither smile at it, nor abstain from acting on it. But still all I can do is stand and stare!

PS: My chemistry might not make sense to better chemists as well as to people without chemistry background, doesn’t matter! You will know what I mean :)