This is a movie about the pioneers in heart surgery : Dr. Alfred Blalock and his surgical technician Vivien Thomas. The story covers how the first cardiac surgery came to be performed on humans. But more than that it is the story of Vivien Thomas who contributed almost as much or more than Dr. Blalock and was yet unacknowledged till long simply because he was a black man. It is a story about race, achievements but it is also about personal ambitions, about expanding the frontiers of science. It is a very moving and touching story and I could not hold back tears at one point.
Dr. Blalock who was a wonderful teacher and companion to Vivien inside the lab became aloof and as cut off from him as he never existed. It shows how success makes and brings out the worst in man many times.
Racial discrimination was an abominable thing and derogatory. It was derogatory not to those who were discriminated against but for those who practiced it. It shows how cheap and insensitive and weak you are that you have to feel superior by showing the other person down to oneself. And equally heinous is caste discrimination that we practice here in our country. It is almost the same and it is a shame that it is being practiced even till today. It should be made a criminal offense.
Being born in the high caste, I cannot fully empathize with what they have to go through but whenever I imagine it I shudder. I have felt it though, sometimes, being a woman. It is terrible and makes my blood boil. I hope that with the new and coming generations it will fade away forever.
Blacks in America have come a long way. Today, Condoleezza Rice is the Secretary of State and Will Smith is the highest paid actor and there is Oprah Wimfrey and now there is Barack Obama. It sure has been a very very long and difficult ride for them and they should be proud of it.
What hits home is that despite all disappointments and discriminations, Vivien Thomas loved his work and continued to be devoted to it. That is what a true scientist is.
It was a great movie to watch.
One of the faultiest presumptions that was ever made: a human can control his heart and abandon what his heart strives for. No sir, it is just a great fallacy.
One day I was thinking about any prominent politician or for that matter a leader of any kind in the present situation in our country and astonishingly so, noone came to my mind. Noone. Manmohan Singh appeared a little too meek. Well, you can’t be really that silent when you are leading a country of 1 billion people and more. Sonia Gandhi I did not consider seriously. She is more of a forced leader than natural. L K Advani is a leader who is utilizing his position of being a veteran. Other than that, he has no substance and is too desperate right now and pushes all the wrong agendas from my point of view. Mayawati is pure vociferousness. Rahul gandhi, I am not sure but yet again he does not seem to be a pillar of strength types, too delicate, sophisticated and soft spoken. Narendra Modi is a villain and a goonda. Prakash Karat is stubborn. Our President is hardly even recognizable. I have never heard her speak or make any statements of consequence.
On the whole, there are like one or two leaders who have qualities to reckon. I believe Somnath Chatterjee is one of them. He has integrity at least. The common thing in all of these are that they are not great orators. None of them. They cannot move a crowd which is at least partly sensible by their words, let alone ideas. I have come to realize that oratorical skills are very important in the making of a good leader. The one who comes closest is Manmohan Singh because when he does speak, he makes sense and provides conviction.
I may be missing and overlooking some totally phenomenal leaders who I don’t know about. If you do , please let me know. I will be glad to know. And just as a sidenote, I think that Sachin Pilot’s political career is one worth following. He is one of the more worthy leaders of our generation.
Well, in the latest news, I discovered that the music of the title song of Cash, which is given by the duo Vishal Shekhar is a rip off, the beats and the chorus etc were unmistakably the same. Now that is not really a news if you consider that it is Bollywood we are talking about but all the same, I was surprised ,since I thought that at least Vishal Shekhar are not the kind to first copy and then brag about how they thought the song should be like and then came up with the song. If anyone related to them reads this I request you to please let them know that I had some respect for them and their music which has seriously dwindled here.
In more Bollywood news, this movie Rock On is turning out to be a big thing. Will have to see it I guess. Farhan Akhtar and Prachi Desai seem to have aced it. These radio shows would just get on and on about it. Als the cast appeared on some music show on Zee. Saregama i guess. It is funny watching the guest judges in this show, specially if they have come for the promotion of their movies. Their faces totally seem to be saying that dude, I am bored and I don’t even know if the contestant is singing good or bad and then there is that total tareef session where they repeat the same line for every contestant, in praise off course. It gets hard without the script it seems :). If there are some genuinely talented ones then they make up two lines and alternate them. You know, if you start taking it lightly, these shows are quite fun actually. The dramatic music when the names of the losers are to be announced, the way the judges jump onto the stage to hog the maximum limelight after every song, the way Himesh Reshamiya moves his hands like a retarded person while doing his nasal thing ( i dare not say it singing 😛 :D), and the way host is all tucked up before the show and is actually a mere standby in all the drama and the way everyone starts crying and dedicate their songs to their moms and the next thing you know is all kerchiefs are coming out. It is actually quite interesting to see all this mess if one is in a good mood and once in a while there are some good songs to be heard too.
Okay, after all this bashing I have one deadly confession to make. I bet you would consider killing me and curse me for all I am worth but I still say (sheepishly) that I like some of the Himesh Reshamiya’s song. There is at least energy in some of them and those are the ones I like. Now, kill me. Wait, I actually said that here in public. I am gonna kill me myself 😀
We worry so much over the big matters like economy, death rates, terrorism, US presidential elections and such things and also over trivial matters like what my neighbour must be thinking about me, what should I wear, will i get a promotion etc. But in all this, one thing which invariably escapes our mind is the extent of pollution that we are causing. And we cannot say that we are not the contributors. If we are turning a blind eye even after we know what is going on then it is almost equal to causing it.
I just watched some vids about the pollution in beijing. It is terrible. Rivers are so dirty and toxic that any vegetation or animal is unable to live there. Fishes in the river are all dead. People who use that water are dying of cancer . 16 of the top 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China. US and China together produce around 40%-50% of the world’s Carbon dioxide. Worrying? It is threatening. If it continues like this, we will die very soon and not a dignified death. It will be a dog’s death: thirsty but no potable water, hungry but no eatable non toxic food, gasping for air but there will never again be a breath of fresh air.
It is time to make your contribution in whichever way possible. We all have to get together and make the things better if not completely reverse it. At least we can do it in the areas that we live in, if not on a big scale.
Check this out. It is a very interesting video of Tim Harford talking about his new book and in general about behavioral economics.
I dont know but often times I have a feeling that I am a budding economist, which was most recently fuelled after I watched the Commanding Heights for a second time. I just love the long lectures that economists give, the way they view things and how it is all in some sense a philosophical realization of the existing world.
Microeconomics is like the zoom in of the camera, seeing the nano particles and making them interact right, whereas macroeconomics is the zoom out, taking the upper hand, guiding the herd not really concerned about each member. It all just thrills me and sometimes I wonder that whether it is not possible to apply the concepts and philosophies of quantum physics and quantum information theory to microeconomics. It draws some uncanny parallels.
Maybe, I wish dearly and I hope that I would get to study the subject in great detail and gain a wonderful breathtaking insight.
On the side, youtube is the best product of information revolution. There is so much wealth there waiting to be shared that I cannot just get enough of it. It is a bad things sometimes but its OK.