When I came across people who questioned the utility of Large Hadron Collider experiment, of investing 8 billion dollars in it and of humans trying to control Nature by being curious, I was inspired to research on the topic and to write a post on my blog expressing my view. I remember in school, the first chapter in science textbook was about scientific method and various steps in it, namely, Ask a Question, Do Background Research, Construct a Hypothesis, Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment, Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion and Communicate Your Results. Science doesn’t work like instant noodles. Many researches are carried out without knowing what is one looking for and along the way a new discovery is made. But in today’s world which demands instant results of its efforts, many people are asking “How’s the view from the top?” whereas the scientists at CERN have just started climbing the stairs. I quote someone’s reply in a forum discussing the same topic.
Of all the weird, bad, happy and exciting things that happen in my life, the one I’m going to narrate beats all the uninvited weird events that have ever happened to me. But the point of my post is not the event. Its my contemplation on the attitude of Indian society which caused this incident. On Thursday night, I was coming back from a dinner party with colleagues and it was bit late (10.30 pm). Suddenly this guy (read:weirdo) came along on bike and started driving beside me. He said hello and I sped up totally ignoring him and his blabbering. He drove all the way to my home. By then I had started to lose my temper. I stopped my Scooty, turned to face him and our conversation followed:-
Weirdo : What were u doing back there, standing and talking with a guy in front of my house?
Me with incredulous look : What on earth are you talking about? Do you even know who I am and where I’m coming from?
Weirdo : You were standing with a guy in front of my house. Don’t stand in front of my house ever again. Its not a good thing.
Me with my temper lost completely and shouting : Are you mad? I’m coming from xxx and haven’t stopped anywhere to talk with anyone. I think you are mistaking me for someone else.
Weirdo : No its you. Its not a good thing to stand and talk like that. Is this your home?
Me shouting : Yes it is. So?
Weirdo : I’ll tell your dad what you were doing.
Me hopping mad and shouting : Yeah?? By all means do so. Just get off your bike and tell my dad.
My maternal uncle had been suffering from cancer and passed away on 15th August. During the last days of his life, I observed one important aspect of human nature which made me analyze my opinion on it. The aspect was the innate, sometimes subconscious sometimes obvious fear of death. Having a terminally ill family member at home does cause an air of sadness and depression. But its interesting to see how others react to it. Another close relative; a well known surgeon, very rich & money minded person and my uncle’s neighbor, got affected by high blood pressure by all this. Apparently he was struck by the fear of death. After accumulating so much wealth all his life, he would have to let go of everything. That is a scary thought for all those who are deeply attached to their assets. The fear of death reminds me of a story I’d read in school books which illustrates that Fear is the real epidemic.