Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Serene Lakeside Evening…

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It was drizzling and there was a slow and smooth breeze across the lake. As i moved far from the daily traffic, far from the crowded cities, far from the hurrying roads, far from the developed world, i found my footsteps becoming slower and the air around me fresher. There were no more horns and sounds of roaring motor engines and the only waves hitting my ear drums now were from those tiny water droplets falling over the lake and the humming of those occasional birds. Far away, there were the luxuries of modern life in the form of beautiful hotels with eye catching lights and wonderful gardens with more lightings and fountains. But on this side of the lake i was just surrounded by the moist tender grass all over in a moon lit evening beside the silent lake. There were no massage girls here as it could have been the case in those luxury hotels across the shore, but these tender grass tickled my feet and i could smell the mixture of mud and water and the smell of grass and the smell of fresh water, those smells very much of the nature and not of those costly perfumes. In front was the amazing lake and across this lake stood the attractive club houses and hotels with attractive lightings. On the right and left far ends i could see the city looming from far and the never ending array of tall buildings seemed like stars and constellations up in the sky, from this distance. As i continued to walk there were occasional couples crossing me and they were talking and feeling their love for their partners. I never made any sound, so that i don’t disturb this silence of the nature.


As the road at the other end started getting closer, the horns of vehicles and the sounds of hurrying people were again present and even the pure smell of nature was diluted with the smell of fuels and metals. I was till now, as if in a dream and all these thoughts of enjoying the silence had to be left behind, because in this world everything rested on how quick you moved and how quickly you thought and how quickly you did things. There were no place for the slow movers and lazy thinkers and i feel that's why as time goes forward fewer people believes in the fancy stories and the fantasy worlds because if you have to believe all those, you have to enjoy the slowness at least once in life to get to feel how it is!!


I am not trying to say that the development and innovations the human race has so far achieved are not good enough, but to be a better human being you also need to understand the nature and enjoy its beauty, you have to slow your steps at times and think of the things you see at your front, your back and your sides and smell them, feel them and enjoy them. After all, all these beautiful sights and smells and feelings and sounds could sometimes cheer and satisfy you more than the money you earn.


Now i had no other option, but to walk faster or else i will have to wait for 90 seconds at the traffic light.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Curse, That Never Dissolved!! – Part 1

Societies are often cruel to criminals. They never care if the person had suffered in jails or if they had come out as a better man. Once in jail, many don’t get a second chance in life.This story is dedicated to all those people who had a tough life out from jails just because of a mistake they had done in their Pasts.


He kept his plate and the glass aside at the usual place. This tiny space inside the 3 walls and a “cage like” prison door have been his life for the past 8 years. He hadn’t switched on the light today because he preferred to spend this night in a darkness. He had dreamt of this day so long and often had felt this waiting too painful and had made himself busy with other things and thoughts. But now that day was just a sunrise away.


Yeah!! He’s all set to be free tomorrow. This was Sivan’s last day of conviction. He will no longer be served government food and will no longer have to hide himself in the darkness of the prison cell. He will no longer have to sleep in a rotten mat in this cracked floor and neither did he want to. He will no longer have to fight a rat inside his cell. There were nights when it used to be too hot to stay inside but how could he go out from the lock up? The first days in the cell were the worst ones because he was just 22 then and many others in jail were above 35. He used to feel the horror even in their absence and things were unexplainable in their presence.


He had dreams about going back to this world where he could walk outside with all the freedom in the world and where he could talk to people on normal things and not about their fates and pasts. They could make a future rather than just dream about it here. He was thrilled to go out and meet his relatives and eat those once favorite foods of his. The jail warden Sekhar always liked him. He never disobeyed any officers orders neither did he make any trouble or fight with any other cell mates. He was always the one of the 1st ones to stand up or rise their hands when a volunteer was asked for. Sekhar used to say it was his bad luck and ill fortune that he ended up here at such a small age. But was it really his bad luck or bad fate or misfortune?


He was not another convicted but innocent guys whom you see in movies. He had murdered another person when he was just 22. He had murdered Rajesh, his classmate, his friend, out of their political enmity. He had stabbed that guy thrice with a broken Soda bottle on his upper abdomen. Back then he was not alone. He was the leader of their party in collage and was a popular figure among the students. Sivan was beating Rajesh and people were yelling things like Beat Himm!!! .. Kill Himm!!.. It was those people watching the fight from outside who gave Sivan this broken bottle piece. But none of them were convicted and the court had summoned him to prison for 8 years. He had a long and lonely road in front and none of his friends joined hands to share the hardships he had to face.


The curse that lasted for the last 8 years will finally be over tomorrow. His last meal in that steal plate was over and that glass will no longer be serving him water. They had been some of his possessions for the last 8 years. The next morning before leaving, Sekhar advised Sivan for some time and asked him to give a call sometime in future or incase he needed something.


For the comfort of reading, the story has been split into 3. Continue reading in the below post!

A Curse, That Never Dissolved!! – Part 2

Please read the 1st part before this. Its a continuation.

He went to bus station to catch a bus back to his native. His hometown was 7 hours by bus. He looked at his face in one of those mirrors in the toilet at bus station. He had changed a lot. He was an attractive guy while at collage and always had a distinct hairstyle. He was fair and handsome and his character and looks always attracted people. He was stylish in his own terms but now he had lost it all. He was just an unshaved man with a dark complexion and no distinct hair style. He was now just another man in the crowd.


Back at his home town, he met with a sudden tragedy. His family has shifted from that place and the house they used to live was empty now. None of the neighbors had any idea of their whereabouts. 8 years ago, they were very much depressed at what happened to Sivan. His father had pronounced him out of the family when he came to know of his arrest and hadn’t gone to prison to meet Sivan even once in those 8 years. He made up in his mind that he won’t search for them until he found a decent job and made a nice name for himself.


He didn’t have a nice time in the hometown were people always referred to him as that guy who murdered his class mate while at collage. People kept on talking about Sivan in bus stops and tea stalls and barber shops and bars. Many of them didn’t know him personally and occasionally asked “ So you are that guy who murdered your classmate? You were in jail for 8 years? ...” All these disturbed him very much and he wanted to say them that he was a changed man and he was the most disciplined prisoner at jail. But none of them cared to these stories and they were reluctant to give job to this man. He tried many jobs but none of them ended up long as they kept on humiliating him and many threw him out of the job without any real reason. He felt really sad and heart broken when people referred to him as a criminal. He had already lived in the jail for 8 terrible years and felt it was his time to live now.


He called up his warden at jail Sekhar and came to know that he was in hospital after a heart attack. He was worried after hearing this and the news of Sekhar’s sickness made him forget his own worries. He felt his eyes speaking to people of his restlessness and left the seat and stood by the door.


Please continue reading in the 3rd Post

A Curse, That Never Dissolved!! – Part 3

Please read the 1st two parts before continuing with this one.

He was surprisingly welcomed warmly by his wife and 17 year old boy. They said Sekhar had spoken high of him for all those 8 years and so they didn’t hurt him even with a single word. After 3 days Sekhar was discharged and Sivan said to him the complete episode at his home town. Sekhar offered words of condolences and arranged him a job in a factory in Trivandrum . He also insisted that it was better Sivan stayed at Trivandrum because no one knew Sivan neither his history.


His time seemed to get better and smoother and he no longer dreamt those scary dreams. He started living the life he had dreamt while at prison. He was sure his bad days were over and was happy for this transformation in life. He was a lively man again. Days went by smoothly and it was nearly an year since he was out of jail. He now believed the curse upon him was finally and really over.


During that time, an old friend of his from the jail got released and the same police warden had given him Sivan’s address. He was so happy to know that Sivan had finally emerged out of all tough times and have started working. He went directly to the factory to meet Sivan and called out loudly. “Sivaa..Nee ipo decent aayi joli oke cheythu thudangi alle...Nee aake maariyalloda..purathu irangiyappo aake onnu chethu aayalloda..” which meant .. “Sivaa.. You have started doing a job now ! Great man..You have changed a lot...Once you got out, you have become fair also..”


Unluckily for Sivan the owner of that factory was on rounds and he asked Sivan who was that man. He said he was an old friend, and that man out of his anxiety of meeting Sivan, added that, he and Sivan had spent 4 years together in jail. Sivan was shocked at the mention of “jail” but the owner was even more shocked. He asked the details and Sivan had to describe the full story of how he got into the jail. The owner scolded him in front of the rest of workers and said he don’t want a criminal in his workforce. His heart was broken at those lines and he begged the owner for keeping him. By that time he had already moved on to the next workers space. The news spread in the factory like a wild forest fire. People, even those with whom he had dinner yesterday, started ignoring him from then and often kept talking behind his back about the incident in the factory.


Once again he and his Inglorious Past has been the topic of discussion in the hotel he ate daily. He felt his last one year’s hard work in getting a name and identity had been spoilt in a second. He was almost getting into this world of common people without the distinction of being a murderer and had started sleeping normally without any wild dreams. But this could change it all and it could be an unchangeable change. Now he didn’t even have the mind to go to another place and start all over again hiding his identity as a cold blooded murderer.


Now he was again that guy who cursed his fate and foolishness and rash rise of blood in an unfortunate moment. He cursed that guy who threw that broken bottle to him. He cursed those guys who charged him up to bash Rajesh. He cursed all of them but all of them could be leading a happy life now and he was left with nothing rather than this tag of a Criminal who had murdered his own class mate at the age of 22.
The humiliation he faced since his release from the jail have been more heartening than those physical hardships he had to go through in the initial days at jail. He cursed his fate and wished a Death Sentance could have been much better because then he couldn’t have had to face these hardships from people. He could have lived the rest of his life in that prison and could have had those random nice people inside who understood each others sentiments and he at least had a glass and a steel plate and a room of his own and a darkness to hide himself. But here outside he had nothing of his own and he was an alien Criminal who had gone to jail for murdering his own class mate.


He thought all these could have been because of the curses of Rajesh and his relatives and his friends. Rajesh...a fellow classmate. A guy who sat in the same benches and read the same books and who used to eat from the same mess and paid the same fees. Sivan had ended Rajesh’s life in a moment. But Sivan was living a life full of hardships. He felt the people around him were all demons killing him inch by inch by each word they spoke. He had already suffered for 9 years and how much more will he have to suffer with the tag of a criminal or a murderer? Why should he suffer like this? His heart was burning with these thoughts and he cried out and left out huge groans. Many heard him but none cared. After all he was just a dreaded criminal to them.


To end it all for ever, he went to the tallest building in the town and jumped from the top of it. He had Rajesh’s face in his mind and he was cursing himself at heart even in those last seconds.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Verdict – A Master Fake!!

Please go through the article The Most Shocking Photo of the Decade or a Master Fake before reading this one.


If you look into the viewers comments for the last article, you will be quite content that the image is a faked one. I searched the internet for further details of the Sept 11 Attacks on the World Trade Center towers and came across this interesting article. A fireman had recorded the video of this flight hitting the tower and some experts had later done a thorough research on the Aircraft that crashed into the building. What interested me is that the flight path was not straight or it was not travelling in a straight line as seen in the picture, and as a matter of fact, it was losing altitude fast and the nose or the frontal part of the aircraft was very much pointing downwards, which is not the case in that picture. So that’s enough to rule out all the possibilities and note it is a Fake Image.


image001


The flight was coming from above the building and hit at somewhere over the middle of the building. So the nose has to point downwards and that’s contrary to what you saw in that image in the below post. So it is sure to be faked. For further reading on report from the “Fireman’s Video”, click here .


Incase you are wondering what I am talking about, go to the post below this!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Most Shocking Photo of the Decade or a Master Fake?!

This picture was one among those 19 that i received today as a forward and the subject read “Rarest of rare pictures”. I didn’t spend much time on it at the first go declaring it instantly a Fake! But then i came back to this photo and watched it closely. There were certain things about this picture that caught my eye and i searched about it for sometime wanting to prove it a fake out on all equations. Here i am presenting those things i found out.


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First let me explain this picture thoroughly.
The picture is of a tourist posing for a photo on the top floor of one of those World Trade Center buildings that collapsed on 11th September 2001. If you look closely you will find in the right bottom that the date is in fact 09-11-01. Now if your eyes are to trust, this photo must be clicked seconds before that plane crashed onto the same World Trade Center building.


I will present the things i found out here. The ones supporting the genuinity and the ones that could oppose it. I used the theory of contradiction here and tried to prove this is a fake. So lets take this step by step!


Point One
So the 1st thing i did was to check if place in question is the top of World Trade Center or not. A No to this question will put an end to this whole debate. For that i searched “top of world trade center” in Google Images. I was shocked to see that the railings in the image resembled the railings at the top of the World Trade Center or for now lets call it the “Watch Deck” of the WTC. Here I am including 2 photos to prove it looks alike the railings of the World Trade Center.
 top of world trade center
top_of_world_trade_center
  Now you will accept railings seen in the photo of our question is indeed similar to that of the real World Trade Center that collapsed on 11th Sept 2001. You will also notice that all the pictures are apparently at the same height. This just furthur strengthens the case because you can have the same railings for other buildings as well but you don’t have buildings as tall as this everywhere.
So now its evident that the picture is that of the top of the World Trade Center beyond all doubts.


Point Two
At the right bottom of the picture you can quite clearly see the date which says 09-11-01. I am not an expert on these Photoshop’s but i have heard its not possible or its tough to re-create or edit the date shown in a picture. As i said i don’t know how to use this Photoshop and this thing is something i have heard.


Point Three
Now let us postmortem the aircraft that seems to be approaching the building. I  will say that’s exactly the aircraft that crashed onto the building. Wondering how?


As you all know that the World Trade Center or the WTC consists of two towers. The North Tower and the South Tower. The North tower was hit 1st at 8.46 AM and the South Tower at 9.03 AM. So if you are to believe this picture, you will have to assume that he was standing atop the North Tower, because once the North Tower was hit, this man posing for a picture atop the South Tower is even out of question. Now you know that the North Tower was hit at 8.46 AM, but you have no details about the aircraft. So i searched Wikipedia for those and found out that it was a Boeing 767 aircraft flown by American Airlines. Now you might want to see how a Boeing 767 flown by American Airlines looks like.
american-airlines-boeing-767-300er-transportation-aircraft-29013

Now go back to the picture in question and you will see that the livery or the outer look of the aircraft matches, so does the model of the aircraft. Boeing 767 is a twin engine flight and so is the flight in the picture that we are talking about.


Now its evident the flight in the question is same as in the real incident.


Point Four
If you notice the way sunrise is falling over him, its coming from one of the sides and not from directly over his head. The way and the depth of the shadow falling over his face shows that its either quite early in the morning or a its quite later in the evening. The crash on the 1st building happened at 8.46 AM and the shadows falling over supports it.


These are the four points i found out supporting the genuinity of the picture. Now lets see what goes against this picture!!


Point One
I searched for the average temperatures of New York during the mid Septembers every year. I found out from Wikipedia that it ranges around 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit  or around 16-24 degrees Celsius. Considering it was quite a sunny day, i would like to assume that it would have been around 23 degrees. So what doubts me is what makes him wear a jacket with fur on such a warm day. If what i see is right, it has a hood with fur and he wears another black banyan inside which surely wouldn't have been my choice on such a warm day.


Point Two
Now as you see the aircraft is quite near to him and the building. Don’t tell me he didn’t know that there was an aircraft behind his butt. If he didn’t see it because he is not facing the aircraft he is sure to hear it with two aircraft engines roaring just meters away from him. And I am pretty sure there was another guy with him, the guy who must have taken this picture. At least he should have seen it. Or else you will have to assume the worst case that the guy who took was blind and both these guys were completely deaf to miss such a flight! Or incase they saw this flight, they wouldn’t have been there posing for a photo, they would be thinking how to save themselves. Or being optimists their thoughts could have been that of some random pilots showing off their piloting skills in front of the Epic Twin Towers and they could have been taking this rare photo to show and boast of to their friends. Or else they could have been sure of their fate and this crazy guy would have wanted his picture to live forever provided the memory card survived.


As you see numerous theorems could be proved and disproved and points noted. What if i wasted my 2-3 hours on yet another fake image? If it’s a fake, it’s a well created fake image by an expert with some senses.  Or what if this really is a genuine image?? How did it survive when the big towers fall apart and thousands lost their lives?? We will just have to assume that out of fear the camera fall out of their hands and the memory card was found undamaged among the debris. We will have to believe that it survived to tell a tale. The tale of a tragedy!


Do you have the answers for all these?? Feel free to throw in your comments and thoughts!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Journey...A Tale!! (Part 1)

While in an evening walk, while in a crowded bus or a train, while at a library searching for your favorite book or at your favorite hotel for a special dinner, while at the marriage of your distant relative or in an unknown forum over internet,...you meet people! You might give them a smile! You ask for their help, to find a book or your way or the time or some place, unknowingly many a times. You talk to some and listen to a few. Who are they? They are strangers. The same strangers whom your Papa must have warned of to be careful about. And many of those strange friendships or strange-ships lasts no longer than the dress  we wear. This being a small script cooked up in my mind, thinking of those strangers who had helped me expecting none in return, shared their simple and humane thoughts with me and even those who had nothing to give but a nice smile.




Krupaya dhyaan deejiye! Gadi no 6248 Thiruvanathapuram se hokar Manglore tak jaanevali Parashuram Express platform no 2 par aa chuki hein….
This sound of the railway announcement woke me up. I looked through the bars of the window and found that the train had reached Ernakulam Jn station. The hanging televisions in the station played the trailer of an up coming Mohanlal flick which is to release coming Friday. The sound of the video was only vaguely hearable courtesy the loud cries of the Chai-wala's and the murmurs of anxious and impatient passengers. My watch said it was 11.42 AM which meant i had slept for like 3 ½ hours. I bought a newspaper from one of those bookstalls in the platform. The front page was filled with the news of India winning the 2011 Cricket World Cup.


I was reading an article when i noticed that a uncle who sat opposite to me was starring at my newspaper and i offered it to him and he smiled and thanked me. I smiled back and glanced at the people in my vicinity. An old lady with a spectacles was reading a thick covered book, a middle aged man in a t-shirt and jeans was sleeping and another person was reading an Outlook magazine and he had a blue tooth device in his ears. All of passengers seemed to be content with their own mobile phones and books.




I looked out through the window and enjoyed the green-Kerala. There were this beautiful sight of paddy fields and coconut trees besides the track all over with occasional railway crossings where vehicles waited in long queues for the gate to be opened. There were these loud whistling/horn of the train occasionally and i was tuned to this rhythmic beat of the mating between the rail track and the metal wheel. A number of thoughts went passing through my mind and i wondered how many times have i boarded this same train. I remembered this incidence of how i knew Italy had won the 2006 FIFA World Cup.


( Scene: Same train Date: Some-time in mid Aug 2006 )

I was boarding this train from Trivandrum and was already late that i couldn't read the newspaper before hand. I entered the bogie minutes before it left and luckily found myself a seat beside the window. At that instant i saw the picture of Italian Soccer team with the cup in the front page of a newspaper and out of anxiety grabbed the newspaper from some one whom i had never ever met. I was just reading that article when that man grabbed the paper from my hand and scolded saying "Excuse me, who taught you these manners?? .. can't you see that am reading it young man??" and i was embarrassed in front of rest of the passengers.

For the comfort of reading, I've split this into 3 parts. So continue reading in the next post!

My Journey...A Tale!! (Part 2)

Please read the above post if you haven't. This is a continuation
The next few minutes i sat still with my face pressed against the window bars as if reaching out to catch some sight at the far end. The train was out of station and sun was lazily starting his day's work. The incident was as bad as getting slapped on your face and i figured out what a stupid thing i had just done. "I should have at least asked for the paper!!" I kept on repeating at heart. I now knew there was no point in staring out at the semi-dark early morning sky and took out a film magazine from my bag and pretended to read it. But again and again those thoughts kept coming back to my mind and i even cursed him many a times at heart for embarrassing me! 


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May be 20 minutes after that he tapped my knees and gave me the paper and apologized for those rash moments. I said it was my mistake and apologized him back with a stressed smile and accepted the newspaper. My mind eased out and thanked him with a brighter smile few seconds later. He too spared a smile at me and i felt a silent conversation taking place. The situation eased out by then and i was all into the newspaper. I read all the articles and described to him about Zidane's head-butt incident and how much Buffon deserved the Best-Goalkeeper award. He as if to change the subject said cricket was his favorite sport and added he had watched the 1983 Cricket World Cup final live on television.


My watch ticked by fast for me, as i was enjoying the film magazine. He as if out of boredom asked me what do i study and i said i was doing 1st year B.Sc. He added that he was working in the Secretariat. His tone seemed to change to an advisory mode and i was least interested to be advised by some one i never even knew, and i wanted to go back to my magazine. But with no other option, i pretended to listen to him and nodded at times just to ensure i was awake. At an instant i asked where he was getting down and he said Kottayam. That meant i will have to bear him for about an hour and cursed my fate for all the ill happenings of the day. Later i switched back to my magazine and a few stations later the stranger left and by then i had made up i will never be friendly to a stranger.



Please Continue to Part 3 in the next post!

My Journey...A Tale!! (Part 3)

This is continuation from Part 2. Please complete part 1 and 2 first!

(Date: Back to present,April 3rd 2011)

The uncle who had borrowed the newspaper returned it.  I looked at the watch and it was just past 12 noon. I went through the rest of the paper and the last pages were filled with posters of those movies to be released soon. I was all excited to be back home from work and i will be there until Vishu (April 14th, New year according to Malayalam calendar). I dreamt of what will be special at home for Vishu? "There could be the customary fire crackers which i really enjoyed and then there would be nice food and new movies coming on television. Then there would be…..Would be….?? Uh..Is that all?"

It reminded me of these festivities way back when i was a kid. Then festivals like Vishu and Onam meant get together of the whole family for about 5-10 days of extreme fun. The courtyard used to be filled with kids playing with loud noises, the elder women at home enjoying the cooking part with gossiping while the elder men spending their rare holidays together discussing their tough working hours, aspirations of building new houses, and so on. Evenings were fun with all jumping and swimming in the big pond and at night all the kids slept in a same room. The grand parents always had pleasant gifts for us and we always had an innocent smile in return.

But now can i, or you dream of such a holiday?? I wish i could! The person whom i had met a long way back in the same train had talked of the changing times and how televisions were starting to influence the household lately, and had referred to peoples keen interest for the Onam season, just because new movies kept on coming in the satellite channels. Back then i had called him an old man, and had told him that he felt the time was changing just because he was getting old and it was not that people had stopped enjoying festivals. He just smiled at me and hadn't replied then. I was happy then to see his mouth shut because i was more interested in that film magazine. Later he had said "Good bye young man. Happy Onam. Good luck…" and had got down at his station.

Now it makes me feel like the time has changed too and peoples interests have shifted poles. But who is to blame for all these? Does a guy sitting dumb in front of the movie celebrating the hero's success and laughing out at even the lamest of jokes know that this is not the right way to celebrate a great festival like Onam. Is it just about Kerala or have the people whole over the world changed too? Do you enjoy the movie songs now? If yes have you listened to classical music?? Have you seen the classical dances? Do you even know what Kathakali is? Is it true that world is changing or as i had told that stranger, should i just assume that i was getting old too??

But for that stranger, whose name interestingly i never asked, would i have had these thoughts too? Was it just a waste of my time to listen to him? More and more questions arise and many remain unanswered. I might never see him again and my questions might remain unanswered for the length of my life.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Importance of Understanding History.

sandClock
The word “History” brings to me thoughts fresh from those Harappa & Mohen-je-Daro related history classes, and i am pretty sure you must have cursed your history teachers then. But that’s not all what history is about. You have a history! Your friend and your friendship with him has a history. Your family has a history so does your society and even your collage/office. Your mobile phone, your i-pod, your computer, your pen, the paper you write on, the bulb that lightens your room, the chair you sit on, so on and so forth everything has a history quite unique to itself.

History is anything that could have happened in the past and here past means even the second that has just ticked by. The dot/full stop that had just passed by your eyes a moment ago is also history. So what’s the importance of this history? The importance of understanding ones own countries or societies history is important to better understand the cultural rites and rituals, the social sentiments and even the character of the people. Understanding your past reveals the mistakes and the good deeds you have done in the pasts and that’s a learning curve for your future. The importance of history of a gadget or a mechanism leads to better understand the situation or environment that lead to its creation and you can work on those to make it a better product. Studying the history of an organization reveals how things are done there and how it has reached its current position.   

As my field of interest and expertise i try to watch many of those aircraft crash investigations to understand what minor negligence's could have led to many a catastrophic accidents. Life is always an evolution and you might want to collect all about yesterday to your subconscious mind that you atleast don’t end up repeating a mistake once committed.