Thursday, February 21, 2008

Have You Ever Been WILFED.........

How many times have you logged on to the net planning to do something useful and landed up doing nothing.How many times have you clicked on the links sent to you by your friends and hop from one webpage to another only to realize that you have killed substantial amount of time. How many times have you been engrossed in a Google search moving from one result to another endlessly and all of a sudden regain your consciousness trying to figure out what exactly you were looking for.
If you had experienced any of the above phenomenon it means that you have been "Wilfed" or you are a "wilfer" and if you thought it was something normal, think again. The word " WILF" is an acronym for "What Was I Looking For" and it is an increasing internet related psychological disorder. The syndrome is so common that this word recently made it to the official list of English vocabulary.
And if you think of the consequence of being "Wilfed", its is lot more than the guilt of killing time. Being Wilfed too often can reduce your work efficiency, especially if your profession demands frequent access to the internet and whats more a prolonged Wilfer might face a psychological dependence on internet, something like mild form of IAS ,its not Indian Administrative Service as you think I am talking about "Internet Addiction Syndrome". Kids ,pre teens and teens can suffer from chronic concentration impediments if they fail to understand the underlying cause for the problem.
So how did this syndrome originate, although Wilf is a syndrome very much related to computers and internet , it had always been part of human thought process in various degree of severity. A classic example is where this phenomena is in pandemic is our class rooms. How many times have you answered your attendance and started listening to the class and then suddenly find yourself waging a war against the invading Martians or you are sailing hand in hand with your soulmate in one of those Gondolas in Venice.It may all happen too frequently for few and in varying degree of rarity in others and it has more to do with your thought process and the motivation to remain focussed in your work.
Its not even a modern phenomenon or things which happen only in schools,colleges or work place ,its been happening as long as humans started walking with their hind limbs.Remember the quote from the Bhagavad Gita where Lord Krishna quotes that "Human mind is like a monkey". Now,well don`t think of Andrew Symonds , the monkey he was talking about was the real type of monkey ,the ones you see in zoos and forests.So being Wilfed does looks very much part of human behavior but its more accentuated in this era of computers and internet where you have more probabilistic chance of succumbing to this syndrome.
So going by the traditional quotes of medical sciences "Prevention is better than cure", what can we all do about preventing ourself from being Wilfed. Yup the only way is to maintain intensity in your life. Plan your time you spend on your PC [it also applies to your life time] meticulously that you never give any space for the syndrome to sneak into you. Well the point is maintaining intensity is not a complete solution but atleast you can avoid waging war with Martians and to certain extent ask your soul mate to wait for some time until the class gets over before you take him/her for a ride in one of those Gondolas in Venice.

With endless attempts to salvage Earthlings,

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cue Moments From Mathura...

As with my vast traveling experience during my childhood days,this one of the best I can remember frame by frame and still fresh in mind as red juicy carrots harvested on winter morning.We were staying Gwalior and I was in my fourth grade I suppose and we were on a family tour to Mathura in UP [For all those people who have some idea of Mahabharata its the birth place of Lord Krishna]with my dad`s office colleague and his wife[Mr & Mrs Das from Bengal if I remember them correctly].We took a late evening train , it was the GT and we were on our way to the mythical city of Mathura. At that point I heard nothing more than it was just another temple town with chants of Lord Krishna everywhere.After a brief journey of four hours we were at the banks of Yamuna , one of the mighty rivers of the state.
Time to get down and take a stroll across the city and we met this all blabbering and over enthusiastic guide who promised us take around the city and also obviously with the title of his profession , offer us some guidance on the history of the place.Me and my sister were very busy starring around the place as if we had landed on Martian planet, we can already observe substantial cultural differences just for a place which around some 350km from Gwalior.
We were visiting temples after temples,palaces after palaces and the guide was non stop with his blabbering and he seems to have a folklore for every place he took us.I can even remember couple of them,the one where describes how a "Booth"[kind of ghost] actually had built a magnificent palace
overnight for a local ruler,to how lord krishna once sold his golden bangles in a milk shop to buy some drink as the priests of the temple had forgotten to offer the Prassad.
By mid evening we were nearly exhausted by all those walks around and we settled for a photo session , who would have ever thought that this is going to be the most memorable experience of our trip.We were at the Grand Krishna temple at the heart of the town which hosts a giant 15ft statue of Lord Krishna.The one obvious things you will notice about the place was that it was infested with monkeys,not ten,not hundred,but nearly a thousand.I suppose the monkey population inside the temple quite clearly outweighed the humans .And very much the pilgrims have found ways to live with our distant cousins, some people offer them food ,if not they had every right to snatch it away from you and give you a glare just enough to make a fully grown 5ft human run for his life.
We did feel a little threatened as we saw more monkeys around us than humans but our guide was gracious enough to convince us that they were harmless and you will know it soon why he said that. As my dad`s colleague was clicking our family photo and we were all saying cheese to the camera ,my mom felt something fishy happening behind her and before any one could realize it was all over.One of those monkeys mistook the spectacle my mom was wearing as some kind of toy and snatched it from right behind her back without any suspicion and out in flash climbed on the nearest tree.And you can guess my mom`s initial reaction,she just freaked out so loud that every organism inside the temple complex were gazing at us.
And hearing that loud freak there he came charging towards us "bhabi ji kya ho gaya??", our ever faithful guide,and when we informed him about the incident ,he went straight to the tree where the monkey was by now virtually bitting into my mom spectacles and it reminded me of that old monkey story which my grand parents used to tell me,he threw some "chenna"[moong dal] up in the air and our Hanuman avatar was just magnanimous enough to throw down the spectacles,"lijiya babiji apka chashma" and my mom with such high reputation of hygiene consciousness refused even to touch it and he had to hand over the belonging to my dad.
The best part is yet to come ,after that incident my mom was without her spectacles for few months because she never trusted ophthalmologists in Gwalior and was waiting for a vacation to visit Chennai for a eye check up to get her new spectacles,and surprisingly the doc found her eye power to come down to almost a insignificant level and told her that she could do well without her glasses unless otherwise she gets any head aches.Its been a decade and more since that incident and she never touched her spectacles again and what can I say here "A miracle from Miraculous city of Mathura".

The little lad you see sitting on a marble lion is none other me,so no prize for guessing that one.[It was taken in one of the Krishna temples on the outskirts of mathura,probably choreographed by my dad]

With nostalgia all around,