I had to wait for one entire day before I was finally called upon to make the presentation and it did turn out to be pretty low key, not at all what I had expected. Probably, the decision had already been taken and the presentation was of academic interest only, as they say of the last cricket one-day in a series that has already been won and lost. The proposal to adopt the UK system, it seems, had already been rejected and the UK guy might have been trying to salvage his position by studying my presentation and trying to draw parallels between their system and ours. At 6:30 PM, when I finally gave my presentation, it was not too detailed and of the 50 odd slides that I had prepared, I was asked to cover only the selected few that had created some doubts in the mind of the intended audience of the presentation. From my end, I would say good riddance if this project dies out here and I am sent on to another by the start of next week or better still, by the time office ends today. I have decided to meet my Project Manager today..let's see what he has to say.
While I was waiting for the presentation, I decided to make some good use of time and got on with the e-book version of Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. Widely publicised as the prequel to The Da Vinci Code (actually, the stories have no relation apart from Christianity, of course and the books are just part of the same series with the symbologist, Robert Langdon as the common protagonist), the book scores over its more famous cousin in terms of thrills but as far as the symbology (which really made The Da Vinci Code so popular) is concerned, this book is certainly a poor, and yet somehow fitting, cousin.
Based on the eternal conflict between religion and science, the book tries to trace history in the backdrop of the current times. Right from the times of Copernicus and Galileo to the modern times of the nuclear bomb (and even more serious, harmful , and as the beginning of the book says, factual technology called the antimatter), science and religion have been at loggerheads. The analogies drawn right through the book are impressive. I particularly liked the part where one of the staunch church believers admonishes science for its reluctance in accepting a greater power in things that it has not been able to explain. He says, regarding the beginning of the universe, that scientists are ready to believe a mathematical near-impossibility of perfect conditions for the genesis of creation but are not able to see a bigger hand in the creation of those conditions. Well said, I believe....given the Time Zero's non-explicability in the Big Bang theory.
Religion supporters go on to argue that science is taking the soul away from the human race by making the entire lot cynics and unable to appreciate the finer things in life, unable to submit to a bigger power. Surprisingly, little has been said about the point of view of science. In a pretty lop-sided story for most of the part (except the end, perhaps), science is shown to be the villain of the piece and the brothers of Illuminati (another sect that factually exists) shown as the Satanic cult that is all set to destroy the church. With illustrious members like Galileo, the Illuminati (the enlightened ones) are shown to have infiltrated the Masons of the current times (with the Masons having some more illustrious members as Winston Churchill, Roosevelt, and even George Bush) and thus, preparing the world for the tomorrow that shall accept Science as the new God and the only God capable of miracles.
As for the chills and thrills, apart from arranging four churches at four ends of the cross, with an obelisk each as company, the story does little else. However, this is sufficient to keep the viewer glued to the book (or the computer screen in my case). The imminent destruction of Vatican City can be stopped only by a symbologist from Harvard and a scientist from Europe, an unlikely team that, as expected, does the unlikely and in the end, all is fine...well, except for a final twist, which I shall abstain from disclosing (for people who still haven't read the book and want to).
The guitar lessons are becoming more difficult now and it does need a lot of patience to keep tugging at the strings as if there is no tomorrow when I can see my instructor play Floyd and Maiden with such ease. The finger tips have had quite some wear and tear and they should be thankful for the two day break that I shall have this weekend. I am likely to go to Sandipan's place for the weekend and will be back to the PG only on Sunday. Tomorrow also marks the beginning of my weekend French classes at the Alliance Francaise...after all, I need to be able to communciate to the French supermodels once I am in Paris, what say! :-)
Posted at 11:13 am by Nitai
May 6, 2005 11:25 AM PDT
u dont need to go to Paris to test ur French skills... u have urs truly to help u do that!:-)
May 6, 2005 11:39 AM PDT
Thanks a lot for the help but actually it is the other way round...I am learning French because I am going to Paris and since I am going anyways, and since the French supermodels are going to pester me anyways, thought that I might as well learn how to say no to them ;-)
May 6, 2005 01:04 PM PDT
Aha! now u drive ur point. So, u kind of having dual Summers??? Kolkata and Paris sounds a nice combi! na???
May 6, 2005 02:02 PM PDT
not exactly...going to Paris as a part of the insti's international exchange program...but that will be for Term 5, that is, September to December...for now, it's Amar Sonar Bangla for me :-)
BTW, Kolkata and Paris...I don't have anything against this city or that but then...ahem