Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Adrenaline!

Biologically speaking, adrenaline, also known as the 'Fight or Flight' hormone, is one of the many hormones produced by the adrenal glands of our body. This substance is synthesized when a person experiences situations characterized by life threatening, high stress, anger, scariness and excitement. It works by stimulating the heart rate, contracting, blood vessels, and dilating air passages, all of which work to increase blood flow to the muscles and oxygen to the lungs.It is an evolutionary adaptation that allows the body to react to danger quickly. The dilated air passages helps in increasing the physical performance for short bursts of time. Strength and speed increases. This hormonal surge is called 'adrenaline rush'.
Now enough with the biology!!!

In our life, we have, sure faced a lot of different situations where we have had this adrenaline rush. For instance, almost all of us would have had this experience of running like an athelete behind a overcrowded city bus or an electric train to catch it. Adrenaline is such a wonderful hormone given to us by God! It is both vital and also a kinda cool hormone. For me, whenever I am in one of these situations, I get a suddeness or lets say an 'urge' to do something at that moment. I also get this kind of a feeling as if a hot liquid is flowing right through your chest.


As you can see above, a roller coaster in an amusement park always brings out the adrenaline in you.

At school, there are many times when we get a free period. By rule, during free periods students should remain in there respective classes. But in my class, all the boys used to go out to play after checking the ground was clear. And note this combination- We play football with a tennis ball brought by a classmate in the basketball court. I am sure this would have happened in only our school. Hardly any time would time have passed, but only at that moment the games master would decide to come and check the ground. And that idiot (no offense :P) would not have come at the beginning of the period. The moment he has suspicion and points at us, blowing the whistle, we run to our classes like anything.

Similarly when I see Harry Potter zooming fast through the air in a broomstick or when I see Dom racing in his chevrolet in Fast & Furious or watching 3-D movies like the recently released The Amazing Spiderman, there is an adrenaline surge. Some of you might also have felt this. Even PC games such as Need For Speed, Grand Theft Auto, Prototype and many more brings out the adrenaline in you.. More recently, the Xbox Kinect ,which is becoming increasingly popular, I think is a source of adrenaline. Generally, anything you do that you fear, produces adrenaline. Activities such as bungy-jumping, paragliding etc are a guarantee. Music also sometimes gets you all charged up. Whenever you feel the vibe of the song, you tend to tap your feet or drum your fingers on any surface available. Finally, you also get the adrenaline surge when people are having 'it'.[ : P ][ ; ) ]

'I wish there was adrenaline at all times, living with that extra physical strength, excitement in our life!!!'

What a Pain!


Life is a bed of roses and thorns. This is a saying which I like because it expresses the meaning of life in just one, easy line. Roses signify the good things and the thorns signify the bad things that happen in your life. Life is balanced with the good and bad things. It will not be good if either one is more. If one's life is filled with just happiness and with no pain, then there won't be any challenge or say...... a 'kick'. Life is all about challenges, isn't it?  In this article, I am going to talk about the different painful things that we experience both emotionally and physically. Pain is a feeling which cannot be expressed in words. Its degree can only be known by that person who is experiencing the pain. Anybody can sympathize with one person but only those people who have undergone the same situation can empathize with that person. All of us would have surely experienced physical pain far more than emotional pain which comes in once in a while. But, according to me, emotional pain is more devastating than physical pain. It may not kill a person, but does everything apart from that, and in some cases it 'does' lead to death. 

Emotional pain can range from mild issues such as failing in an exam, love failures to extreme issues such as 'forbidden/high' bullying by people in educational institutes (a.k.a ragging) which can lead to suicides, rapes, losing of beloved ones in tragic incidents. All these have one thing is common, that is, depression. Other symptoms are abnormal behavior, not-able-to-talk (stammering), can't eat or sleep for long hours due to the traumatic experience they underwent. It is very difficult to erase the memories from the affected people. No counselling would help then. In my opinion, one thing would help, 'Will Power' of that person. If they have that, they can be back to their normal-selves in no time. Re-thinking of the incidents would only make the situation worse which could lead to coma for a lifetime.


Now let me tell about physical pain. Interestingly, all physical pains give trouble in their own way. I, for one, have experienced a lot of physical pain. However small or however unimportant the organ is, each has its own intensity. Whether it is a burn on the skin, a sinus headache, drippy nose, wheezy chest, back pain, rashes, fluid from the ear, a nerval (my own word) shock when joint of elbow hits a sharp corner, blow in the  groin, neck strain (suluku in tamil), boils anywhere in the skin (even in the mouth), pimples etc it is bound to give a hell of a pain for a while. I have had it all!

Most of us would have had the incident where, when the doctor/nurse is about to inject the needle into the baby's hips for a blood test, they would have told us to look into a funny picture or asked irritating and lame (I think) questions such as 'what is your name' etc; Readers, here, I would like to share a tip. Whenever a doctor gives an I.M (intra muscular injection), for god's sake 'do not' tighten it. If you do, then you cannot sit in a place without a pain in the ass! for 2-3 weeks (Pardon the language!). Still, hospitals are a nightmare for me. Anything that comes in needles, I hate it. 

Another incident that I have in mind is, one time when I was playing football in my school, (in football, usually I take the defendant's place) , there came an instance when I had to defend the goalpost, and BAM!, there was a collision and not a body-to-body collision. Mine and the opponent's teammate's legs collided. I felt an excrutiating pain. Quickly, when I removed my shoes and socks, I found that my toe's nail was partly peeled off and fresh blood was oozing out of it. It took almost a week for that toe nail to re-grow.

Readers, pain is a part of life. It cannot be avoided, it must be faced, it must be braved and we must move on with the next thing in our life. There are many beautiful things in this world to enjoy. 'There is no point in reminiscing/rethinking/lamenting about the bad things in our life. Enjoy your life to the core!'  

Friday, 17 August 2012

Tami'z'h---A'z'hagu (Beauty!)


As you would have noticed, I have stressed on the letter 'z' (i.e ழ in Tamil). I think that of all the letters in the Tamil language, this letter is the most cool and difficult letter to pronounce. The shocking thing is, even some Tamil speaking people do not know the proper way of pronunciation!! I am proud to be a Tamilian mainly because it is one of the most oldest languages (I know its two superlatives!) in the world (found somewhere around the third millennium BC!) and also it is one of the few languages in India that stand on its own (:D), has its own grammar, vocabulary, structures, rules etc., I am really proud to say this, because "most" of the other languages spoken in India are in one or the other derived from sanskrit. The meaning of Tamil itself is beauty or "sweet sound". And the language proves to be so. Tamil is also recognized as one of the classical languages by the government of India.





The most important reason that I like Tamil is it is a rational language, contrasting to sanskrit which is lot more abstract. For example, there is nothing like "Blessing" (Aashirvaadham!). But many people think that it is a Tamil word. Other examples are punniyam, pavam, sorgam, naragam etc;. Tamil words are getting sanskritized. Until recently, I did not know that the real Tamil words for mother and father are "Thaai" and "Thanthai" respectively. "Amma" and "Appa" came later due to external influence. Yes, I know they are spoken in the rural areas and some of "us" might find it a bit weird to say it but that is the real Tamil. We have been changed in that way. The Tamil language is "rich" in the sense that it has many, many poems, lessons both prose and non-detailed, short stories that are both entertaining and informative at the same time. For example everybody would be familiar with the world-renowned "Thirukkurral" and its poet "Thiruvalluvar". There are many notable poets such as Bharathiyaar, Bharathidhaasan, Kannadhaasan, Auvaiyaar, Kambar (who wrote the Ramayanam in Tamil), Sekkizhaar etc; Then there are the "5 great big books" in Tamil which "should" be given a read (me too!).


The main message that I wanted to convey is that in the recent 6-7 years the language is undergoing serious contamination without our knowing. I put the blame partly on the government, our parents, educational institutions and of course the social networking sites. From the time we (yes! including me) are born, till now, we have been infused with the notion that English is required to survive/ to get a job (BULLSHIT!...There are countries which use their native language even in the professional level such as Japan, Germany ). But sadly, in India, English has been compulsory. Schools have made it mandatory to speak English in schools (of course there are Tamil medium schools) but when it comes to getting placed in a job, companies have made it a requirement. So there is no other go, we need to know, read, write, speak a little bit of English. That is acceptable. But .....bringing the English in our day-to-day conversations.....now that is not acceptable. We have the thinking that English is the 'cool' now-a-days. We hardly speak complete sentences without a single English word. If this trend continues Tamil might get lost. Obviously that would take a many, many more years from now. But it will happen gradually. Apart from English, due to many reasons such as immigration, Tamil also gets influenced by other languages in their own small ways. So friends, let us talk Tamil and preserve it. Stop with the 'Hi dude' and go with 'vanakkam machi' [:)]. Probably this paragraph is applicable to other regional languages too.


Another thing I would like to add; I don't know if I am the only person feeling this; but the bad words in Tamil has more emphasis, kind of strong and seems to be more .....um....I don't know the word in English (:P)....lets say Bayangaram (ப ய ங் க ர ம் :P ) than their counter-part words in English. For some reason, I love the way auto drivers say these words. It is a guarantee that you will be blasted off if you say any of these words (:P). Such is their offensive nature. But readers, I am not encouraging you to use these words. Tamil is a beautiful language and lets don't spoil it [:)] .


Try this tongue twister: "வாழை பழம் தோல் வழுக்கி கிழவன் கீழே விழுந்தான்"  


As the famed Tamil poet Bharathiyaar said:

"Senthamizh naadenum pothinile Inba then vanthu paayuthu kaathinile".
- loosely translated as "When someone mentions Tamil nadu, it is as sweet as honey to my ears".

I sign off by saying-" THAMIZHAN DA! ".

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Picking the Plastic!

As we all know, plastic is a non-bio degradable substance, that is substances made of plastic cannot be reduced to simpler components. In layman words, plastic is the "phlegm of the earth". Just as we struggle when we have a cold, plastic acts as a congestion for the earth. Rainwater cannot seep through, which is essential for the soil, plants, trees. Thereby it affects the environment drastically. I usually talk about the environment and the dangers humans cause, but haven't done anything to save it. But today I got the opportunity to help. Recently I joined in "Enviro Club" in my college. Many first years, about 250 to 300 students joined it.

The first activity was the 'Campus Cleanup' programme. All the members were asked to come early in the morning 6.00. Due to the previous day's rains, the weather was cool and pleasant for the month of august. But the seniors came late and we were made to wait for 45 minutes. As time passed, the other students started to appear and I was grumbling about the seniors to my friends.Finally when they arrived, they asked us to break into groups of four to six people, go around the campus and collect plastic bottles, covers etc., anything which is made of plastic.

Normally, I don't like to do these kind of things. So we set off to work, working our way around the campus, squinting the area for any plastic substances.We were a group of four.


Actually I was surprised by the amount of plastic in the campus, it was too much for the eye. We gradually picked up the plastic that we came across. As it had rained the previous day, the ground was still wet and there was water on the plastic. Then I began to imagine the effects I had said in the first line!!....It was true!
Just imagine, the whole soil covered with plastic. I could relate to it easily. I grabbed all the plastic bottles, cups, small and big covers, sachets etc that I could find and put it into a basket. But I must say, it was impossible to clean everything as plastic was in every nook and corner. And I am talking about only a part of the campus. Now imagine the whole city of chennai and then the world. OMG!... Then I thought about the garbage pickers. They do the same work everyday throughout the year. I thought of it as a 'small' job. But believe me, if it weren't for them, the world would be firstly a stinking place and secondly it would lead to pollution. Already my city is home to the notorious "COOUM" which consists of not only plastic but also different kinds of wastes including "ours"(:P). When I travel by train, I know that I am going to arrive at Guindy station when I smell the familiar putrid hydrogen sulphide of the cooum which passes between Saidapet and Guindy.(:P). If that is one problem we have not been able to solve all these years, "DO WE REALLY WANT ANOTHER PROBLEM?". Ask this question to yourself and you will start by doing small things, like segregating the plastic in your house.

We arrived back at the club after about 2 hrs with large amounts of plastic in four baskets and cardboard boxes. It seemed that many of the other people had gathered far less than our group as they were pointing at us and laughing as we were approaching the club office. As you can see above, that is a picture of all the plastics our club collected. To tell the truth, at the end of the activity, I was proud that I was able to do something for my college [:)]. 'I don't know about the other colleges, but I think such initiatives should be brought up and create awareness to the people'. 

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