Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Frozen by Inspiration

It was almost a disappointment. I was not expecting to see ordinary looking people there; and beautiful looking people, not at all! At India's premier most institute, I expected people to have atleast a horn on their heads. But that was not the case.

Previous to last weekend, I went to the Indian Institute of Sciences, also called the Tata Institute, considered to be the most premier institute in India for scientific research.

The initial disappointment was finding normal looking people,and still worse beautiful looking women. Believe me, in the topIndian institutes, beauty and brains are strangers, here the best of the best was an exception. The fact that an exception (that could throw the rule in the trash) crossed my life two years ago, did not strike me that day. Partly because, it is almost one and a half year since I saw her regularly, in the days when IISc spelt her name for me; and mainly because the idea of visiting that place to take that vicarious pride was overwhelming.

It was great to rediscover lost love for Linear Alzebra, Tranform Theory and Stochatic Processes. After lunch, and before bidding good bye came the most important aspect of the vist - petrification. The main building is what is the public face of the institute, doubtlessly the icon of all that the institute stands for. We appraoched the main building from behind through thick vegetation, typcal to that of a jungle,thus bringing it into view slowly. This helped reduce the sudden shock. The touch of the stone was electrifying. It was as if a current was flowing into my body from the building through the finger tip. I could not resist the urge to touch the firststep leading into the building, closed on that day - the birthdayof the Father of the Nation.

We moved onto to sit on a bench straight infront of the building,which gave a full view of the building, a sudden realization dawned up on, the thought of the total intellectual capabilityof the people who walked in and out of that building, their service to the nation, their service to mankind. The amountof value they are generating, and the number of people who areindebted to them. The mission of the founders, their gratefulnessto their motherland, the success of the institute in serving itsintended goal. The thought was paralysing. It was inspiring.

I have not gone to temples so often after coming to Bangalore. Infact Bangalore is a very modern and restless city, which goesagainst the timelessness, strength and peace that any temple stands for. Now here, I am at one, standing in full glory, I need not visit another in a long time.