That pale blue dot

30 10 2009

Look again at that pale blue dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturing, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

"The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

"It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known. "

-Carl Sagan, "Pale Blue Dot"

Image Credit: Wikipedia []

I fell sick

23 10 2009

Well, its been almost a week that i started feeling aches and weakness in my body. But from Sunday, the fever kicked in.

An initial trip to the doctor revealed nothing much:
”You got a throat infection my boy”, the doctor said after she examined my throat. “And it is causing those fevers and aches”.
I tried to protest… “No, i have these swollen tonsils since I was a kid.. You need to think on some other perspective”

The doctor looked at me in a way as if trying to say: “Don’t instruct me how to do my job!” and i could just grin.

So, as i suspected, no improvement in my fever for two days and i decided to switch doctor.

I went to another guy and told him my condition. He asked me to change my medicine and suggested some tests.

The test result is due this afternoon and i should be going to collect them…. Lets hope its not typhoid or any other bad disease coz i got a lot of work to do at office…

and despite my effed up medical condition, i have been coming to office on nearly daily basis 😦

My Blunders vol. 24: That sound in the middle of the night

13 10 2009

Its funny how weird you act when you are disturbed in the middle of your slumber. Just moments back, I heard the sound of my landline phone ringing and i remembered the incident that occurred to me last night when i was deep in my sleep. The phone ringer that sounded totally normal just now sounded totally alien and that caused quite a confusion with me. As I was extremely tired due to my day long meeting (even on sunday), I retired to bed early as I had to take a break in my sleep to see a cousin off. So, I slept at 11:30 PM.

It was around 2:15 in the morning when my sleep was interrupted by some continuous ringing sound. Initially it sounded very distant as if it started in a dream but sono my mind got conscious that this ringing sound was from the real world not from the dream. But the dilemma was that my mind couldn’t correlate the sound with the source. It was very loud very crude ringing sound. At first i thought about door bell but the idea was immediately rejected as i knew my door bell is very melodic, then my thoughts wandered towards fixed phone but the idea was again rejected as it never sounded like it. The sound resembled like a fire alarm. The only possible source i could think of was that the sound was coming from another phone and that another phone wasn’t mine.

So, I nudged my brother and in sleepy voice ordered him to attend to his cellphone. His reply “STFU – Its not mine” got me out of my sleepy thoughts. I sat on the bed with the mysterious source still ringing. Suddenly It dawned upon me – GodDammit, it was the landline phone which i had earlier dismissed that was ringing. Ringing of my landline phone at this hour of night is never good news. I hoped for the best and rushed towards the lounge where the phone was placed. I picked up but there was no sound coming from the other side. I cursed the phone and the caller and headed back to bed and slept instantly.

Again in the sleep, I heard the same sound… same struggle with my brain about the source of the sound but this time i had known the source. The same damn phone ringing again. I rushed again and picked up the phone. No sound from the other end,

Me: ‘Hello??’
Me: ‘Hellooooooooo’
A male voice: ’Hello?’
Me: ‘Yes?’ 
That male sound: ‘Hi, Edhi Ambulance?’
Me: ‘What?’   (my mind was still drowsy)
That male sound: ‘Are you from Edhi Ambulance Service?’
Me: ‘No, Sorry wrong number’.
That male sound: ‘oh, ok’

I checked the time, It was still around 2:15 and i thought i had slept for hours between these two phone calls.
In any other situation, I would have grumbled a few obscenities after placing the phone, but the conversation was disturbing enough to keep me pondering. Somebody needed an ambulance and dialed a wrong number… Great! Those precious seconds that he wasted talking to me could have made a difference in saving somebody’s life. The more I thought, The more disgusted I felt about myself. Why the hell didn’t I tell him the number? I had that number stored in my cellphone. Somebody needed help and i was too sleepy to help him.
The only thing i could do after this mishap was to say a silent prayer for the person who needed an ambulance. Prayed to God to have mercy on the soul of the person who needed that ambulance.

… and then I went back to sleep as if nothing ever happened.