Thursday, May 07, 2009

I'm in AWE

I was listening to a really cool podcast this morning. (Let me recommend at this point the “how stuff works” podcast. It makes for hours of informative and very entertaining listening). I’ve had quite a few embarrassing “laugh-out-loud” moments on the subway and streets listening to this. Anyway, getting back to the podcast. It was a podcast about face transplants. And that’s when it happened. A sudden “kicked-in-the-stomach” feeling. A racing of the heart. A restless energy filling me. And I knew I was in AWE. Completely and irrevocably, head-over-heels. In awe with what humans have accomplished and continue to accomplish.


It started with hearing about the first kidney transplant in the 1950s. How one man or maybe a group of men thought of and executed something so radical. What a combination of imagination, intelligence, creativity and skill that requires. And how generations of researchers, scientists and surgeons have run with that idea and brought us to a point when a person’s FACE can be replaced. What skill there is in the hands of a surgeon, who can transplant a tiny heart in a child, can separate twins joined together at the skull, who can STITCH together a face for someone, can dig into a brain and remove a tumor, can remove a gall bladder through 2cm holes in the belly! Let the surgeons have their egos… they deserve that and more. If I could do what they do as a routine, each day I would have good cause for an inflated ego!


The list of man’s stupendous achievements is long. Computers, pharmacology, engineering, robots, space travel, music. Genetic, chemotherapy, surgery. Ballet, rock, piano. Literature and art. Architecture, glass making. We take it all for granted. We look for reasons to not be awed. We look for ways to give less credit than due, finding something wrong in the person who achieved something, a way to “humanize” them. Maybe we do it because our ordinary lives would seem even drabber if we compared it to the lives of people who achieve something. We need to pull them down because otherwise, how do we live with our own mediocrity? We spend much too much time being cynical when truly there is magic around us. And sometimes we should just appreciate and give credit to that talent, be awed and inspired and try to make something of our own lives so that it leaves a mark.


Coming back to this big crush that I have on mankind this morning… I realize that nothing, absolutely nothing is as attractive as an intelligent mind. I say this because the general perception in the media and a whole bunch of subliminal messages sent out to us give credit to looks and bodies. Early in life, through school and college, kids suffer insecurities based on their looks. Someone ought to tell them, that through life, it is not looks but only brains and hard work that will only ever mean anything. So here’s to being in AWE. Here’s to trying to make the best of our opportunities and to making a difference!

10 comments:

Rathi said...

"I realize that nothing, absolutely nothing is as attractive as an intelligent mind."

Too true!

And for the awe that you feel about surgeons doing that kind of brilliant work, I'm sure there's a surgeon out there thinking the same about a poet who poured out the colours of a sunset into a blank piece of paper with nothing but a simple black pen.

Veena said...

A female friend who read that line said that while women might think brains are attractive, few men would feel like that. I don't pretend to understand the male mind, but I really thought that most men could get excited by things beyond a woman's looks. I guess we need honest male input...

Yes, poetry, photography... all creativity is awe-inspiring.

Prashanth said...

Hey!

Very well written...

Sumedh said...

Not really a comment to your blog, but something related that I wrote here.

Gurupriya said...

verry articulate...!
i particularly lovved the concept of "big crush on mankind"....utterly passionate, a FRESH thought & makes one think...if only we could shed some of the ego that clouds one's vision & look around, there are truly more enriching thoughts & deeds that we could choose to be possessed by!

Firebringer said...

I guess even the people accomplishing these feats must be dumbing them down after a while, for, if they felt that every time they are doing "their job", they are doing something freakish & extremely complex, they probably would not be able to function under the pressure :)

sarthak said...

ah the much dreaded male input - the reason any person (men and i think women too) is drawn to another initially is purely the attraction of that which is visible; i.e.: the physical aspect, however subjective that maybe - blame it on evolution. but that's where darwin's influence fades, as any long-term 'relationship' between 2 people would need a coming together of minds.

Kakkad said...

On that note - its time to pull out the Smriti! :P

ashish said...

Impressive!!!I am in "AWE" of your writing skills.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you mostly..but don't you think that giving 'brains' the number one spot in itself may seem closed minded and prejudiced even. I understand the world of beauty looking down on their not-so-good looking counterparts but the think-geeks aren't any better. I think childern don't just suffer from issues with beauty as kids. They also suffer from lack of grades. It is imposed in them that nothing other than good grades matter. They may be great basket ball players, great artists or even prospective chefs but all of these seem to take a back seat to math grades!