Friday, December 15, 2017

An Indecent Obsession: Of War and its Futility

Reflections on "An Indecent Obsession" a movie and book by Colleen McCullough (author of "Thorn Birds" which I read in Pakistan around 1985-86). This is a page from my diary written on September 25, 1987. I was 25 and this was my first semester at UT Austin, and was residing at Riverside Apartments.
For the first time after reading the "Purple Plain" by HE Bates, I again experienced the trauma, shock, feelings and tragedy that are associated with war. Lest we forget! It has been a long time since World War 2 which was around 20 years before my birth. Somehow, I think I feel or may be I imagine that I can feel the experience of what it is like being in the war, and witnessing its sufferings; all that dying, all the misery, and the in-consequence and futility of it. But wars are a real permanent feature of life. War has always remained a permanent feature of life. I think it is long overdue for our generation.
The sufferings, joys, and determination associated with it. How does it ruin the normal human beings, or make them or break them. What one feels and experiences in education  in itself. All our efforts, our preconceptions, and our business, and our longings and wishes seem pointless and meaningless. We love and suffer. Our associations seem to us to be permanent but they are simply our illusion. What is duty, morality, love. Every thing gets mixed up in the war. To come out of it unscathed, normal human being is really a tribute to the determination of man and his resilience. All dying and futility till you realize there is "All Quiet on the Western Front"!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

To Kill a Mockingbird: A Personal Journey

I was around 10 when I saw the movie "To Kill a Mocking Bird" on PTV in 1971-72. That was the time when I didn't focus on the dialogues but used to only concentrate on the emotions and feelings depicted. We didn't have access to Internet or magazines with briefs about the programs or movies being shown on the PTV. There used to be a flyer but often it only listed the titles but not details. However, I could sense even at that early age that what I had seen is not a typical run of the mill movie, but I had gone through a tremendous and profound experience. It would be a decade later when I would find out about how much acclaim the movie had won through a book that I issued from the American Center library. This was an attractive pictorial history of cinema and from there I discovered that this movie had won the Oscar for the best picture in 1960, and Gregory Peck had won the Oscar for the best actor.  One of his three roles that made him my all time favorite actor (the other two were in Roman Holiday and Guns of Navarone). I also read the book on which this movie was based around the same time. The book and this movie had a tremendous impact on me as described here:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

What is Meant by Rigor of PhD Research

The rigor with which your hypothesis are tested and the methodology that is pursued differentiates a PhD from an MS/MPhil [1]. A PhD is held to higher standards of meticulousness and scholarship which becomes evident from the rigor of the analysis of conditions, constraints, variables that influence the experiment, and may have an impact observations, and use of established theories for justifying their inclusion or exclusion.