Chemistry & Biology of LIFE and the vital role of BIG 4 players

Life and Nature

We are all made of matter, and it is a matter of fact. We are a part of this magical universe that is scientifically carved out of the elements of matter. The question then is what these matters are composed of that they matters so much to us, the way they do. We need to unravel the inside story. Indeed intriguing. All matters are made of substance called elements and each of these elements has their characteristic physical and chemical properties establishing their individual identity. The story beginnings…

The personalities of elements are the players.

It is the game of life astutely played by the players known as the atoms and molecules; these abide by the fundamental rules of physics and chemistry. Molecules are made of atoms. The interactions between these atoms within molecules in our cell is what makes our life possible. We have now entered the sanctum sanctorum. This need to carefully preserved and protected. And the moment there is an iota of disturbance in the degree and depth of engagement of these multifaceted elements, we become susceptible to varied diseases and wide disorders, and inviting trouble in our life.

The atoms in our body contain the story of the universe. A fascinating story though never looked beyond the written chapters of school book and the contours of exam.  The plot of the story gets unceremoniously hibernated unless we are in the similar zone of scientific discovery. We get disconnected. It is the smallest unit of matter that retains the chemical properties of the element.

What does an atom look like?

The inside story.

The hidden characters.

The connection between the sub-plots.

It has two regions, one is the center known as the nucleus having the protons & neutrons and the other is the surrounding can be termed as the cloud having the electrons. The stability of the atom comes with the attraction of positively charged protons and the negatively charged electrons. Though the neutrons are neutral they play their vital part in performing the stability of the atom. The weight of such micro particle are measured in a unit of its own known as dalton. Interesting aspect to know is that electrons are merely 1/1800th of the weight of protons but both the protons and electrons are equally charged to maintain that stability of the element. This basic chemistry helps in better understanding the world of biology. The subject that describes one part of the story…

Let’s take any object and when we cut it, we are not slicing the atoms but we are separating the molecules, as the object is made up of molecules and atom being the smallest unit that cannot be further divided.

 

The cosmology in biology sounds bit intriguing.

Nevertheless, as such we cannot be defining life in such simple terms. Science has been able to establish the connection between the atoms in the human body on earth and to that of the planets in the far flung galaxy. The atoms of the elements in human body were born when the stars died some few billions years back. Without the scientific hat, it appears as a far fetched imagination, a litmus test to our imaginative prowess and we are instantly thrown into a tailspin the moment we try to keep counting the years from the origin of universe. It is only millions and billions, and the number keep shifting its goal post depending on who is seeing from which point of view. First set of elements seemingly appeared on this Universe after the event of Big Bang.

 

The mystery of the history of evolution is a treasure trove in this tiny piece of atom forming the molecules and organic compound making up the living organisms.

 

These four elements forms the bulk of our body structure, precisely put the figure stands as 96.2% – Hydrogen (65%), Oxygen (18.5%), Carbon (9.5%) & Nitrogen (3.2%) In fact every living organism is predominantly composed of these four fundamental elements.

 

The vibrancy of the biodiversity we see on this planet is a beautiful product of the artistic composition of these four elements…and we can truly experience the symphony of life through the state of harmony within these elements.

Molecules

Biology is actually chemistry.

These are the vital elements in our body and what do they really do inside the body structure and how simply the body does embody these complex compounds. They form the building blocks that make life possible.

Carbon is said to be synonymous with life, the basic unit of organic molecule. Life would not be possible on earth without this very carbon element. Every single organic molecule in our body contains carbon. The property that makes it stands out in the positioning statement. It can form bond with itself. It has four stable bonds and that helps it to form variety of molecules and long complex compounds, the building blocks of living organism. Carbohydrates to proteins all contain carbon. Also, the carbon bonds can be broken with much lesser energy allowing a dynamic organic chemistry in our cell. Hydrogen’s high level of electro-negativity facilitates because of which it easily bonds with carbon. Hydrogen is also found in every single organic molecule in our body. Oxygen mainly found bound to hydrogen. It combines well with carbon and the bondage that oxygen has with hydrogen forms the water, the elixir of life. Nitrogen is important because it is found in amino acids that make up proteins and nucleic acid that makes up DNA are so essential to the critical functioning of human cell.

Carbon is recycled between atmospheres to plants to animals to human beings on this planet. In other planets not yet unearthed. This natural system is what we know as the carbon cycle. Plant uses carbon dioxide and water during the process of photosynthesis, and produces oxygen and glucose, and the later gives the plant the needed energy. Plants are consumed by animals and human beings. During this process the carbon changes its form to carbohydrates. The carbohydrates are used during the process of respiration wherein the oxygen and glucose are converted into carbon dioxide, water and energy. The process of combustion i.e. the burning of fossil fuels and the process of decomposition i.e. breaking of dead organic matters releases the locked up carbon dioxide in earth crust into the earth atmosphere.

Human activities keep recklessly intervening with nature and disrupting the natural carbon cycle affecting the functioning of our planet.

 

Chemistry is actually is about physics.

There is another side to this story of elements that is the geology of these elements beside the biology. Elements are the storehouse of energy. Matters and Energy are the twos side of the same coin. Energy remains the same, the elementary form keep changing. The massive requirements of energy are for our large industrial production houses that are madly multiplying. The invasion of industrialization. These factories are the real energy guzzlers, the primary polluters. Fossil Fuels are sources of energy that are formed out of the remains of living organism buried millions of years back. Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons comprises of carbon and hydrogen, and few other smaller elements. Different fuels have different set of ratios and a matter of fact that coal is nearly composed of only carbons. A fossil fuel is a fuel that is formed by natural processes. These fossil fuels are formed out of the burning of matters like wood to coal to oil to gas to generate the energy. All these energy ultimately comes from the solar energy.

 

“Coals are pecked in our bedrock.”

“Oils are decked in the bedrock of sea.”

“These get drilled or mined.”

 

And then the process of refinement of these fossil fuels into energy forms like electricity for rampant industrial usage. There are these residues. Burning these carbon fuels produces large amount of carbon dioxide and the culprit behind the climate change in the negative direction. All these energy sources are non-renewable in nature and we are on the downhill, the depletion of this basket of energies is on an accelerated pace and if we don’t have the alternatives in place very soon…life will be surreptitiously sucked out of this planet. It will be tragic end of the human story and these elements as characters can do nothing in extending the plot. The plot now is clearly mad-made and the protagonist can play in a rightful manner provided the person in control is fully conscious of the dire consequences and driver of the vehicle of life quickly navigates it back on the right path.

 

This is an elementary lesson of life but we are too busy in building the industrial houses oblivious of the massive collapse imminently visible in the natural habitats of this lush green and blue planet.

 

Atoms

According to scientists 25 elements are essential to life but these 4 lead the pack of those known 92 elements that occur naturally. These do so in their body of composition i.e. shoulder and above the rest. It is quite natural to ask which element was first to have got discovered, though not exactly known but two such elements that contest for the top position are the elements of carbon and the copper. Not to undermine the vital role played by some of these smaller elements. For instance take the case of iron a tiny percentage in hemoglobin and the substance responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. Thinking of oxygen without iron becomes redundant once we know the functioning.  The tiny support of these smaller elements is massive on the bigger elements and influence is that of titanic in nature. One need to remember that scientific knowledge is not always absolute and it has been observed that things changes with newer findings. It is the eternal quest and it shall remain so till the universe exists and human co-exists.

These four elements account for 96% of human body and are part of the basic structure of all biochemical molecules. The knowledge of chemistry of living organisms is known as biochemistry. In other words, the biological functioning of human body is governed by the chemical process involving compounds of these elements.

 

All life form is made of small compartments known as cells. No matter what type of living creature, from a single cell creature like bacteria to billions of cell creature like human being every cell of these creatures are made of atoms of different elements. Each of these big four elements play their vital part and the impact is what we see as the thriving life forms vying for their space on their planet earth. Had the other planets had this elements and the balance of composition in place, life would have already moved into other galaxies and planets in this infinite space of universe.

Elements make up everything around us…

 


Nihar R Pradhan

Glimpse of World Literature and Legacy of Literary Greats

Mind Reading

Literary works literally are a mirror that keep showing us the fascinating facets of reality, from the simple to the complex workings of our society.

 

Is this picture a Paradox or a Parody?

 

The changing faces during different period of the societal evolution. Many times it may be euphemistically or metaphorically.

It ignites our imagination.

It enlivens us.

These inanimate pages show us a lively picture. Literature – encapsulates a wealthy body of written work by scholars to thinkers to philosophers. This embodies a stream of defining thoughts, redefining the way we work as a society in different times.

 

Every language has its set of literature. Every culture has its own flavour of literature. The fictional to non-fictional work reflects a broad spectrum of the thinking patterns, the formation of social norms to the revolving views on the religious beliefs to political doctrines.

 

The great writers belonging to each of these periods have subtly captured the nuanced aspects of culture to language to nature to civilization as the phenomena have risen and ebbed during different phases of the evolution of our society.

There are interesting characters and there are intriguing plots. The reality is bitter, facts are broken down and it gets the makeup of fictional manifestation. The stories get crafted. The art of storytelling livens on with the legacy of literature. The fascinating body of literary work encompasses different forms forming the short stories to the long novels, the epics to the scriptures, and the prose to the poetries.

 

Medieval (Geoffrey Chaucer)                                                          

Little information, old English style, difficult to understand, improper translations and unknown authors have characterized the literary development during the medieval period. The author of epic poem Beowulf is not known to Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer where the text in the book was rooted in the religious context of that period between (500-1600). The old style literature was crawling and trying to fathom its place in the space of fading Dark Age. Then the big thing patiently waiting for many centuries did happen that permanently defined the way we look at literature.

 

Renaissance (William Shakespeare)

Renaissance was all about rebirth and revival. It was late 15th century, the invention led to the introduction of printing press. It galvanized the multiplication of written work. It engineered a multiplier effect. This period was further divided into four sub period namely Elizabethan Age, Jacobean Age, Caroline Age and Commonwealth Period. The first sub period was defining phase, it was the golden age. It was the birth of one and only one who solely defined the world of literature, unleashed his world of wonderful body of work, eternally etched in the realms of literature; he was William Shakespeare…the dramatist and the playwright par excellence. His play was composed of metrical pattern known as blank verse unique to master craftsman in writing. Romeo and Juliet to Macbeth Othello to Julius Caesar to The Tempest to The merchant of Venice…the long list lives on our heart ever after. Each play is treasure trove of joy to comedy to tragedy to jealously. His works encompassed almost everything from life and death to love and hate to mystery and magic. He was the ultimate magician of literary work. Such was the magnitude of his work that works of two other great writers Christopher Marlowe (The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus) and Ben Jonson (Volpone) remained dwarfed in front of his colossal work and quite understandably.

 

Neoclassical Period (Samuel Butler, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson, John Milton)

 

It was a period where the social order was undergoing a massive change. Neo means new, classical refers to Greek and Roman classics. It emulated the Roman and Greek style of writing. It was believed that excellence and perfection in literary art was attained by the Greek and Roman writers of antiquity. This was nestled between the Renaissance and the Romantic periods of literature. Writers predominantly believed that reason was primary basis of authority; social needs took precedence over the individual needs. Also, the concept of nature was dealt by the author and it was not about the nature surrounding us but the human nature itself. A period characterized by structure and order. It was time where there was formation of blend of formality and informality. This period was further sub-divided into Restoration, Augustan and Age of Johnson.  Paradise Lost by John Milton and Gulliver’s Travel by Jonathan Swift. The literature during this period was mostly essay style with prose form dominating the scene and the flavour were that of comic and satire in nature.

 

Enlightenment (Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot)

Enlightenment period by simple definition is a state of being enlighten. Intellectual curiosity and experimentation was the order of those times and was driven primarily on human reasoning. This period was marked with multiple historical, philosophical and cultural events which influenced the literature movement. Jean Jacques Rousseau political philosophy influenced the French Revolution of 1789. Samuel Johnson the lexicographer published the first English Dictionary in 1755. The part of 18th century in Europe when thinkers led emphasis on science and reason to improve human conditions…writers thought man was virtuous by nature, vice was due to ignorance. Poetry paved way to the work of prose. Primarily the literature during this period was non-fiction in nature and incisively depicted the socio-political reality. Candide by Voltaire in 1759 with his polemic satires and then The Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau in 1762, who contested the monarch’s divine right to rule, together set the literature in a philosophical journey.

 

 Romantic Period (William Wordsworth, John Keats, Jane Austen)

It was a period of spontaneity and quick wit. The publishing of William Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads in 1789 is considered as the beginning of the Romantic Period. Wordsworth profusely admired the countryside not because of its raw beauty but the richness of its simplicity that was there so powerful with the people it instantly connected the human soul with the heart of nature. He derived inspiration from everyday life and from little things that we do in life, he truly made ordinary extraordinary through his subtle style and series of poetry. He was master in purifying the common language that he used in his literature without diluting the character of simplicity. It was a manifestation of multiple revolutions that was taking place in and around this period, starting with the Agricultural to Industrial to French Revolution. The work of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1818 to Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility to Pride & Prejudice in 1811 and 1813 respectively gave the period the magical touch of romantic thoughts.

 

Transcendental Movement (Ralph Walden Emerson, Henry David Thoreau)

It was a philosophical movement in the early decades of nineteenth century, a protest against the general state of intellectualism and spiritualism. The innate force was the strong believe on the inherent goodness of people and nature. It was the famous essays in his First & Second Series and then the book of Self Reliance & Nature in which Ralph Emerson urges the readers to see the relationship with Nature and God…he was the pioneer of this movement.  Henry David Thoreau was vocal in his thoughts and was a social reformer; Walden was his chronicles of the experiences staying near a pond close to the heart of nature and his book The Civil Disobedience where he dwelt on the theme of laws formulated by government and people need to fight for the fairness.

 

Victorian Period (Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, George Elliot)

A period distinctively marked with melancholy and mourning. England was undergoing a massive cultural upheaval and there was changing pattern surfing the society, it was return of optimism to agnosticism, from lyricism to criticism and from spiritualism to pragmatism. The literature written during the reign of Queen Victoria referred to the Victorian literature. Charles Dickens was the prima donna of Victorian novelist. Charles Dickens Great Expectations his most famous work focused on the Victorian English society. Love defines the signature of life, it can signify the good of life but it has the potency to destroy almost everything in our life. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte revolves around passionate and destructive love story between two central characters Catherine and Heathcliff. Jane Eyre published by her sister Charlotte Bronte in the same year of 1847. George Elliot published her famed work of Mill in the Floss and Middlemarch during this period though got tucked into the little later part of this literary period.

 

Realism (Gustave Flaubert, Leo Tolstoy)

The period that had its beginning in France after the 1848 Revolution where the Realist summarily rejected the thoughts propagated by the Romanticism which had dominated the French art and literature. It then spread like wild fire across the continent of Europe…facing the reality. It was about portraying things as they are in our daily life and our routine activities, the experiences bereft of the romantic imagination. The real life in action, there is so much meaning in our ordinary life that was clouded with the contours of imaginative world.  The realism literary techniques used the detailed descriptions of places and things to depict the attributes of characters. War and Peace in which provides a panoramic view of Russia, he depicts the story of various members of the Russian society during the Napoleonic invasion of Russia, Anna Karenna in which she married to man she doesn’t love and was in love with a man she cannot marry by Leo Tolstoy and Madam Bovary in which the bored housewife living in a provincial town of France wants to escape the routines of life Gustave Flaubert were at the forefront of the movement of Realism.

 

Magic Realism (Franz Kafka, Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

It was the artistic blend of realistic elements in the mythical elements, creating that magic in the reality. It has an inbuilt paradox in the phrase itself with the juxtaposition two contradictory words of Magic and Realism. Unlike the other period where European writers were at the driver seat, in this movement it was spearheaded by the Latin American writers. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka in which protagonist transforms into a bug and reasons not known and The Trail by Franz Kafka protagonist is being prosecuted and reasons not known. One Hundred Year of Solitude where magical events happen in the fictional town called Macondo, beautifully depicting the multiple facets of the rise and fall to triumph and tragedy of the Buendia family. A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez where the character lands in someone backyards using his wings. They depicted an alternative to the reality of life, creatively infused the magical powers to lessen the powerful impact of the harsh reality confronting the society.

 

Modernism (James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Wolf, T S Elliot)

The beginning is always questioned. But it definitely questioned the tradition and the realist way of looking at novels. Ernest Hemingway acknowledged the changing writing style of North American literature. He came from a dysfunctional family and he was a soldier during the Great War. It was the book “Old Man and the Sea”, short poetic novel about the old fisherman who heroically catches a big fish fighting with a shark. He purposely involved his characters in dangerous situations to reveal their strong character hidden within them. The period between during the late 19th century and the early 20th century, the middle part of this period was marked by history’s destructive time, the two world wars and those events squarely influenced the form, the tone and tenure of writing. The writer played with plots to point of views to perspectives…the very art of storytelling was getting subtly crafted.   The later part was where industrialization and globalization was shaping it contour in our economy. The work of James Joyce for Ulysses and Virginia Wolf for Mrs. Dalloway and T S Elliot modernist poem The Wasteland stamp their authority on this period.

 

Pillars of Book

The various periods over the centuries encompassed the perfect weaving of the classics with the contemporary, it symbiotically blended the old with the new, and it seamlessly connected the past with the present.  The great authors born and grown during each of these periods creatively left their indelible mark in the different chapters of diverse books that continues to influence us and inspire the literary form in this post modern era.

 

Literary movements over the centuries have marked by different traits, style and genre…the roots of the literary theme to thought provoking ideas were very much generated from the multiplicity things connected from the roots of society from the socio-economic changes to political upheavals to cultural undercurrents to deep religious movements.

 

The mirror remains fixed but the protagonist and antagonist seeing their faces keeps changing…everything is in the age and the stage of our life.

 

It is a fascinating world of words…

 

What really matters is how much mind makes up in its wordings and workings?

 


Nihar R Pradhan

Creative Writer

The Story of Space, Time, Light & Energy that Matters

light and color

The five fascinating facets of nature mystically intertwined into the formation of our physical existence…paradoxically a mental riddle deceptively complex to decipher. These mystery elements are subtly touching on the nuanced layers of the universe we are inhabiting and the very reason why life is beautifully thriving on this vibrant planet.

 

It is a magic when we look through our eyes as human being until we derive the logic and it is indeed a miracle when we attempt to see through the eyes of God, and it continues to remain a mystery.

 

Nevertheless, there are five other aspects, quite fundamental, the elements that govern our living (air, water, sky, earth and fire). These two sets are not independent of each other; there is an umbilical cord, the relationship, it is a subtle one. These five elements (space, time, light, energy & matter) are enacting in a prefect symphony behind the scene of those other elements; the clandestine players making a fundamental difference to our living…the beautiful harmony we see in our life.

 

Life is truly beautiful…

We live our life mysteriously wrapped in these five fundamental elements of crafting the artistic composition of our very existence.

 

The underlying phenomenon of connecting these elements was a mystery till science knocked the door. It took time. The knock was loud. It went louder and the door opened. Once we manage to barge inside the house of these elusive elements, then it was left to the safe hands of scientist and it was their clinical work that did the rest.

It is now history.

Everything got unraveled.

It was methodically sliced by the precise scalpel of science. The subtle dissection displayed the captivating story behind the body of intangibles and beyond the boundary of invisible. It was an intriguing mystery; until the powerful camera of scientific world focused its set of precise lens on these inexplicable elements of universal phenomena.

 

The journey has been long, frantically grappling with our naive interpretations to satiate the innate curiosity. The snooping bug…after all it is the potent power of human curiosity that has been the driver of discovery and vehicle of invention. It has swiftly navigated the civilization from one era to another…a tectonic shift.

Space is something we equate it to the emptiness surrounding us. It is three-dimensional . Time is what we equate to the passage of moments, and we measure it with the 24 hour clock. Light is what makes us see the world around us. Color is what we give a name to the appearance of an object or a subject we see. Everything around us is nothing but a disguised form of energy; matter and energy are seamlessly interchangeable. All that our senses can absorb are translated into mental observations for our mind to meticulously analyze and critically interpret.  This is what we see, feel, smell, taste and understand about these components that form the vast universe and the earthly world we live.

 

Everything around us is so promptly governed by these mesmerizing elements of the mystery of nature that we are in awe and wonder.

 

The mystery of space, it is empty.

The mystery of time, it defines our life.

The mystery of light is in the speed at which it travels.

The mystery of energy is in the different forms it can enact.

The mystery of matter is in its composition, the inside story of atoms and molecules.

 

An object occupies a space. The object is nothing but a body of mass or for that matter it is composition of matter. The space has a three-dimensional coordinates…the length, the breadth and the depth.

When some one asks us where the car is and for instance we say; it is parked on the second floor of the Galleria Mall on the Fifth avenue Street. The position of the location of the car, so we have three coördinates to find the object called car, is that enough information to suffice the place.

Not exactly, this not enough to find the car unless and until we add one more dimension to the coördinate and that is the time dimension. The car was there at a given point of time and when the time changed and the car was moved away later, one cannot then find the car with only those three dimensions. Here comes the connection between space and time.

 

Newton had its proposition on the constancy of time till Einstein brought the dimension of variability on the factor of time. It is the debate that dissects the classical physics vs. the modern physics. The fundamental perspective on how to look at the factor of time did change dramatically and thereafter a new foundation was led that set the quest for future scientific rediscovery.

 

Time is not absolute. It is relative. The time on a moving clock is slower than the time on a static clock. It sounds bit confusing. It is then the fundamental role that a ‘frame of reference’ plays in solving such science conundrum.  The clock is a just a measuring device.

How can the clock measure the time differently with changing speed?

The clock measures slowly with increasing of the speed. In other words the clock comes to a halt when we travel at the speed of light. This concept is what we know as time dilation. Similarly, the space undergoes change with the speed and reaching the speed of light the length of the object appears zero. This concept is called the space contracts. Einstein transformed the entire concept by converging space and time into a single dimension called as space-time continuum.

 

Is time a variable part or a constant factor?

 

We perceive time to be a constant factor as measured by the calibrated clock and it is same for everybody when we look at its movement. The time on the clock may be different in two different parts of the world, the reason is well known. But when we see a difference in time in the same clock with the variation of the speed of the observer…we confront the million dollar question.

The moment we have this new hypothesis on our table, we are perplexed, and then to resolve this paradox enters the mystery dimension of light into picture.

space, light and color

We are illuminated…

Little intriguing what is light got to do with the time factor and how can these two components has an equation and a relationship that changes the very definition of our longevity. We can dramatically augment our longevity if we change the frame of reference in which we are living.

 

Time moves at a certain speed when we are static, and the speed keeps reducing when we start traveling and with the increased speed we can see the slowness of time clock. The phenomenon is known as time dilation.

And at the speed of light, the clock comes to a standstill. It is observed that we as human beings have a standard lifespan on Earth. Little bit here and there but nothing can drastically change that span of life under the normal circumstances. Here comes the interesting dimension where speed of light has some magical power and it travels at the speed of 300,000 km per second. It seems hypothetical to assume that anything can travel at the speed of light and if we as human being can board say a spacecraft and travel the universe and return back to earth say after a year as par our clock we will be see our friends here on earth have become pretty old. It seems magic but there is logic behind such transformation.

 

Is light a wave or a particle?

 

Initially there was a dilemma but lateral scientists unraveled the mystery and declared light is a joint phenomena. Light can travel in vacuüm. Light are photons with zero mass, hence can travel at such mind blogging speed? The world is mesh of electromagnetic force field and the wave of light travels through the vibration of these force fields.

Light has a spectrum and there are two part to that spectrum, the one we can see is called as the visible spectrum and the human being cannot see through the naked eyes are called as non–invisible spectrum part. One end it is the Gamma rays and the other end it is the Radio waves. The wavelength and frequency varies and that makes all the difference. Human eye has a capability but there are other species they have higher ability and they can see beyond what the human eye can see.

 

Color has no meaning without the power of light, it is the light that empowers color to get the lift and it is only in the shift that the world gets the colorful illumination.

 

In fact color is light itself. Imagining world without light is insidious and how dull the world would have been without the emotions of color. Each color evoke emotions and emotive feelings are so deeply connected to the color we love and the way color plays it’s beautiful part in the design of the world, a large canvas where we all play our parts as artists.

Color has no standing without the support of light and light are the composition of the pigment of color and it gets the wavelength transmitted that object bears. Every color represents a band of the light spectrum having its wavelength and frequency.

 

Mass of an object increases with the speed of the object and compared to the mass at rest. As speed reaches the speed of light the mass becomes infinite and requires infinite energy to move the mass. There is a relationship between energy and matter.There is a general confusion between mass and matter. We use it interchangeably.

 

Einstein famous equation E=mc^2 substantiates that claim. There is a relationship between the motion of object and that the relative motion of object led the discovery of the relationship between the mass and energy. The special theory of relativity, Albert Einstein in 1905 set the contours of modern physics.

 

Matter is the material that occupy the space, and mass is what we measure the matter. And then it is the energy that aggravates the perplexity. A good way to clarify the confusion is by stating that mass is a property of both matter and energy. It is well known that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It merely changes from one form to another and the core content always remains the same.

For instance, the energy that gets generated when we explode an atomic bomb is nothing but the role speed of light plays on the mass, it’s the Einstein equation that scientifically governs the process of such massive nuclear explosion. The process is about splitting the atom, and not easy to split atoms of elements unlike Uranium or Plutonium are exception.

 

Energy has mass, not the reverse that energy is mass. Mass is transformed into energy, there is a massive amount of energy per unit mass. In this larger analysis where the factor of time or time is becomes a completely separate entity…

 

What happens when time and space is placed against energy and matter, the relationship is equally important to be established. Matter equals energy, energy equals space and space equals time; in essence these are seamlessly interchangeable and form one unified aspect of our universe.

 

The Universe comprises of space, the space in turn comprises of matter and matter is nothing a form of energy, and when the energy moves we connect using the reference of the time. In way can derive some form of equivalence between the two sets of elements.

 

Matter is equivalent to Earth, Time is equivalent to Water, Space is equivalent to Air, Energy is equivalent to Fire, and Light is equivalent to Sky…the play of these fascinating five characters that make our life beautiful.

energy and matter

Living Life through the Twin Prism of MINIMALISM & MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness

Anthony Bourdain, American celebrity chef, famous television personality and a person who redefined the way the confluence of travel, food and culture across the world is symbiotically packaged and presented. He was passionately showcasing us a brand new perspective of life and the art of living. When we look at his life and living as a viewer, he had everything, his life and lifestyle was a dream for us. And when we thought he is having the best time of his life and he was thoroughly enjoying his travel life and he was about to show us a new facet of the world through his award winning series “Parts Unknown”. The story abruptly ended. He was handsome. He was successful. He was rich. He was globetrotter. Ironically, he ended his life on his travel journey without giving his journey of life the freedom to decide the end.

What drove him to end life?

 

We are all constantly on the haunt, to discovery the purpose of our life. We are looking for different means, to innovate methods to improve our living. We are searching for new ways to make our life much more meaningful. We want to be happy. We want our life to be fulfilling and we want to make it wholesome. That’s what we want. Life has its own ways to confront us. We are doggedly tested.  There is this periodical litmus test. It is not about being full but is about being complete and whole as a person.

 

There’s such a big chasm of difference in the interpretation of being full in life and making life fulfilling.

 

There are many rich people who are full in every conceivable aspects of life but their life is not yet fulfilling. There are successful people who have achieved many things in life what they had set for in setting the living standard but they aren’t really happy. It is contrary to our belief, the common perception in which happiness has got everything to do with richness and as we climb the ladder of success in life we become happy, in fact it is on the ground, the higher we climb quicker we realize how empty and isolated the top, it has very little to do with happiness.  The grounded we are the happier we become in life.

The joy of life is subtly hidden in the little things that we do in life. Just that we are unmindful of it. The bliss is within and we keep knocking the door outside.  The window to the world of joy and happiness is sublimely inside us. Life is inherently simple but we are garrulous and hell-bent in making it complicated. When we are profoundly questioned we simply don’t have an answer.

We are confused.

We are puzzled.

The pulse of bliss is silently ensconced in the simple things of life. Literally, the heaven is in the simplicity. There is so much around us, we are encircled, we are engulfed and everything around us makes us bonded and we get often blinded. We get overwhelmed with the sudden glitter and spike of glamour. We get obsessed with materialistic things and gradually we have become excessively possessive of many mindless thoughts. We lack mindfulness.

 

Just take the case of the food we eat…the junk that jams us. The dress we wear…the funk that fans us. The work we do…the grind that halts us.

 

Is it the things we keep doing to live our life or are we just living to do things?

Is there a real purpose?

Or we merely do it because society wants us to do that way it has been prescribed. All these intriguing aspects of life cumulatively add up to form the food for thought but ironically we are distracted, we stay focused on the food only and our thoughts that matters get aren’t focused.

The clutter and the platter…

The stress and the dress…

The pace and the race…

The right and the fight…

Mind is bridged between the left and the right. The two hemispheres of our brain are in loggerhead. Nothing seems right for us. We are on the run. The track is planted with mines. The finish line is an irony, it factually finishes us if we tread  in a state of unmindfulness and we are literally left with nothing. There is this sudden void. This nothingness is not the one we are searching for in the disguise of discovering the true purpose of living and meaning of our life. The food we eat. The dress we wear. The work we do. The stiff competition that we are in this crazy world, it’s the game of survival of the fittest and the cacophony that follows has plainly left us in a lurch and we are looking for that elusive outlet to escape. There is a mirage. This is an ambush. We are clueless. We are unknowingly fallen a steady prey to the illusions and the predators on the prowl. It is about the game of life and death. We are constantly on tenterhooks. There is bait and it is tempting and we are naïvely trapped. It is a materialistic world around us. The consumerism is constantly tempting us and we are highly vulnerable.

 

Consumption has become fashionable and the glitter of advertisement is there to anchor and hammer us, and we are dazzled by the glamorous gratification. The world of indulgence seems to be the ultimate path to salvation…

Material World

Materialism is haunting us from all corners and we are making money, loads of money and capital to consume more and collate more materials…our house is in deep clutter. We keep dumping. The hose is gasping for breath. We still keep buying. We still keep stuffing things. The new age product life span has curtailed considerably from years to months to mere weeks and now we count in days. We get bored pretty quickly. The mind is packed still it wants to pack up more. We are questioned for things which have longer than few weeks and we need new display and we need new talking points. There are people around us with microscopic eyes questioning us for everything and we feel the pressure and the easy way to realize such pressure is changing the façade of our materialistic possession. It is easy to change the fabric, change color, and change the space but not the thoughts circulating in our mind. Our mind suddenly goes for a whirlwind tour. Life’s discussion has got tied with things we possess not the thoughts we pursue. Atrociously in our life it is the quantity of things that is mindlessly replacing the quality of good thoughts. There is an ugly war of words going on between the things in our house and the thoughts in our mind. Both are jostling for the right space, the pace is on but unfortunately the good ones getting left out in the journey of life.

 

Things being tangible give thoughts a tough competition, thoughts are intangible and thoughts are fungible.

 

Things are instrumental in nature and thoughts are intrinsic in nature.

 

Nurturing our nature needs more of thoughts…good thoughts and less of things…unnecessary things.

 

Materialism has slowly but surely has entered into our houses, rooms are getting cramped and we are fighting for open space and we are constantly in search for bigger living space when we are yet to learn the basic art of living life, expansion of space is an eternal quest and we keep expanding our span of aspiration, expecting bigger is better and we get unknowingly burden with the syndrome of getting big and bigger. There are many things beyond the world of materials…the nature that nurtures us. There are these small things other than the materials that matter to us. There are these little spaces that count where material is of little value. There are so many things that occupy our surrounding and we are passively locked with our limited space. The race is on. We keep pressing the acceleration. The fight tightens. We start playing the game of thrones. Hands keep itching. House looks dull. One house is not enough. Staying is incidental. One phone is not enough. Communication is incidental. One car is not enough. Transportation is incidental. Social status is the driver. Every day our dress needs to carry a brand new look. The brand matters.

 

The look is pumped.

The outlook is dumped.

It is tumultuous tussle between the look and the outlook.

The space is important.

The time is important.

 

We have been on a hoarding spree. We have been on a race track. Space is misused and time is abused. We all need little space inside our home and more space outside our home; we need less time with the outsider and more time with self. We all striving live life in a bigger house and we rarely use the sumptuous space that we already have, and we are invariably cramped on our cozy sofas close to our television or hooked to the computer. Dining room has suddenly lost its relevance. Bed rooms have become a visitor’s room. We are in that one room that is digitally connected and the virtual world takes over us the moment we land from our office. So many things are stuffed inside our house that there are certain things which we have rarely used or have used years back and usability of stuff is thrown out of our dictionary. There is this false power of possession that truly empowers us…

 

Minimalism and Mindfulness is pitted against Materialism and Consumerism.

 

It has become a matter of consumption when mind needs the freedom from the maximum things that are cluttering our thoughts. We have weaved a vicious cycle and we are confounded and pounded by the magnetic forces of materialistic consumption.

 

Materialism and Consumerism is negatively intertwined whereas Minimalism and Mindfulness is positively intertwined.

 

The real question; are we unknowingly complicating or not knowing how to simplifying our life. The equation of life, yet to be proven…the assumption and deductions are being hypothetically tested.  Though it is assumed that simplification is through the mechanism of subtraction and division not through the methods of addition and multiplication, mathematics plays its part in every part of our life and the principles that govern the operation of numbers also has its role in simplifying our life. There is so much on the menu card when we scan our past and when see our future, and while doing so we generally miss the stuff that are there in front of us…the present moment.

We need to be mindful of things that are now and here, not of things that are there and somewhere to emerge in the future. Things means ownership and attachment and people means association and relationships, nothing is permanent and nothing stays with us forever but we want to hold and we have that nostalgia with the old. Thoughts are there and cannot be without the emotional coating. Emotions are what make us meek and weak; we get trapped in the emotional conundrum. Possessing whole of things are about emotions and feelings. Pursuing every broken relationships and regretting is about emotions and feelings.

 

Mindfulness is about being mindful of little things that matters in life. It is about discovering our self. It is about pursuing our passion. It is about creation not destruction. It is about nurturing thoughts not about negating things. It is about unraveling the power of appreciation not about the value of depreciation. It is about experiencing the moment. It is truly about the journey of life the way we live our life not about the destination, the inevitable death where everything ends.

The mind matters…

The space matters…

Minimalism is about the small things that make up the space in life. It is not about the big things and not about the things at all that doesn’t matter to us and we need to be mindful of those smaller things. It is about how less is more. Life is a function of various things that makes life easy and only when certain things that makes life easy going, we fumble, thereafter our dependency that we lose our fundamental freedom and life become imprisoned in the intricacies of complex things.  

 

Kate Spade, American fashion designer and highly successful businesswoman, her designer handbags, clothing range, jewelry designs to fashion accessories, she had carved out her niche in New York fashion scene with her signature brand “Kate Spade New York” and soon her product became a symbol of sophistication and affordability. She has gone through the grid to set the business model in place, not easy and achieving the business success, it is such a satisfaction seeing the success surrounding her life and that’s what we all as outsider to her life saw in her life and living. She was beautiful. She was successful. She was rich. Paradoxically, she had called fashion as a love not an obsession and she fashioned a death virtually a contradiction to the love for life.

What drove her to end life?

 

 

The answer simply perhaps lies in rigorously following the principles of Minimalism and religiously adhering to the path of Mindfulness.

 

Just by being reckless and careless we get confounded.

Then we don’t know what to do…the reality confronts.

The puzzle of life becomes perilously complicated.

We get helplessly trapped.

We soon lose the plot of life

The story of life abruptly ends.

The sudden silence, leaving many of us to ponder on what is life all about and how should we live our life.

The art of living becomes the heart of all matter…nothing else matters.

Minimalism

 


Nihar R Pradhan

Lifestyle Blogger

History of Art Mystery and Artist in Motion with Emotion

colourfully artful

Art is all-encompassing.

Art is omnipresent.

Art is all-pervading.

Art is invigorating.

Art is intriguing.

So much in ART…

Is art then a mystery?

A quintessential question that intuitively haunts us. It does so, much deeper, the very moment we dive deep into the lanes and by-lanes of history, warily turning the silent chapters of art book we suddenly start figuring out the great artists behind these momentous work of art. They are indubitably the greatest (Leonardo Da Vince to Michelangelo to Pablo Picasso to Vincent Van Gogh); history has seen these genius at work and we as lesser mortal are very fortunate, though yet to fully fathom, we have humbly embraced their immense contribution into the world of creativity.

We are stupefied. We try to read the language of art. We try to decipher the coded message in the form of an apparently complex image represented in a simplified manifestation, the puzzle…it’s a creative composition on the canvas.

 

Art is an integral part of life.

Art plays its beautiful part in every aspect of our life.

Living a life without a sense of appreciation for art is like living a life eating bland food without the blended species that truly spice up our otherwise mundane life. Physicality has role in our life but not always a fulfilling role. It needs the supplement. Rationality has an inherent limitation. Our life is so much about the emotions, the expressions and the engagement of our senses that are constantly craving for the creative juices to flourish and the imaginative joy of cerebral bliss. Many such random thoughts takes it time to mature and few thoughts still at it infancy when they knock the door, nudge us and these new kids on the block wants to come out onto the big arena and prove their innate potential.

They are raring to go…

And so many other latent ideas that are yet to get the wings to fly but feel their time has come and they need to come out and command their rightful place. It is in this very transitory state and when umbilical cord is yet to be cut but the seeded idea that was impregnated, quite some time back simply cannot stay there any longer, further staying could endanger its existence, they break away…art and artists conspire together to come to a creative confluence. Once they do, they leave an inedible mark in the annals of history.

 

Why is that so many great art works are aren’t that simple to read? Does the mystery in the art acts as a knot and not give many artists the much-needed wings to fly far and wide? Does the component of mystery make the art a tad magical? What is the mythical role of mystery in an art? Or is it that we assume a mystery element in the artistic composition to keep the art lovers in a constant state of intrigue?

 

Finally, does these series of questions fairly leads us to some form of convincing answer that states that there is both an intrinsic value and an instrumental value within such great work of art. Art has never been an easy language to read and understand and more so with lesser mortals like us we need a proper explanation and we need a perfect translator to unravel the stuffed ideas that has been randomly flashed on the canvas. In the apparent chaos on the canvas there is a hidden layer of order that we are not able to decipher.

There is a perception to the reality of image plucked from the world of imagination.

We need a special instrument. We need the lens of the art connoisseur who can scan through subject and the surrounding on the canvas and convey the profound idea capriciously embedded and to recount the encapsulated story within the boundaries of the canvas beyond the composition.

It is captivating…

 

Artists today in this so called modern times are in real dilemma and art is involuntarily diluted with the demand of rampant use of technology, digital technology per se, the rigueur and photography in particular has put the creative visual art form painting in quandary.

Flash back to good old days. It was in the beginning of 19th century, as leisurely we rewind ourselves 200 years of history, we shall discover the places and people in those places who have set the creative ball rolling in the arena of art world.

 

There was a heavy inertia.

It needed a big push.

The efforts were not limited to few individuals but an entire group of great people spanned their efforts in a simply coordinated fashion to demonstrate innate power of art that can so effortlessly empower the society.

It took millions of years and only in a span of hundred years bridging two centuries defined the motions of human emotions. The motion built up over the decades and once again during the beginning of 20th century, art world underwent a churning and churn was loud and clear, and it was palpable and new perspective was profound.

 

For 50 years, it was (1800 to 1850), everything around that place was beautiful, and things were in natural symphony and people experienced the positive harmony…it was aptly titled as the period of Romanticism. When everything was perfectly in sync with the nature and humanity was in state of joy and happiness, it was at the cusp of history when things took a turn with the up rise, it was the 1847 French Revolution.

 

The dawn of reality and everybody landed back on earth and there was acceptance of hard facts and embracing the bitter truth in our life and it was once again back to basics and adhering to the routines of life.

 

Edouard Mante, Gustav Coubet, Edgar Degas to John Constable became the pioneers in breaking the romanticism and making the way for Realism. This movement lasted for almost 20 years and the period from (1850 to 1870) was when the realism literally ruled the roost.

Claude Monte, Pierre Auguste Renoir to Vincent Van Gogh contested the very idea of realism and created a new movement in the field of art and was quite impressively named as the period of Impressionism. It was indeed impressive and it inspired many others and it got its extension in a different form and the extended movement is called as the Post Impressionist. This was for almost 25 years from (1880 to 1905). Vincent Van Gogh played a significant role in nurturing both the movement, and there were the other stalwarts like Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, and George Seurat to Henri Rousseau.

Thereafter from (1904 to 1911), two very interesting art movements overlapped and during a short tenure made a big impact on the art world, changing the very contour and the concept of art and how artists looked at the canvas and the subject that denoted the creative art work. Fauvism (1904 -1910) and Cubism (1907-1911) two unique concepts swept the way art walked and crawled on the canvas, it was not merely an art when science entered the scene and the fusion of art of science took the art world with a storm and the strokes started striking in lightning fashion, and there was literally magic on the canvas.

 

Fauvism movement played with color whereas Cubism played with space, and both aspects are so vital to the composition of painting on a two-dimensional canvas.

 

Henri Matisse, Andre Derain, George Braque to Maurice De Vlaminck led the Fauvism movement and great artists like Pablo Picasso to his neighbor George Braque with Salvador Dali to Marcel Duchamp.

 

art and museum

 

Though art gets defined in a particular way, but by nature art is way to redefine our creative expression, a process of self discovery, a medium of visual delight, an concept conveyed in colors, geometry and a combination of pattern, rhythm and proportion. There are certain rules to create the composition but rules are merely a guiding mechanism, and great artists have their ways of breaking those rules, they do so boldly and beautifully and setting new ways, and we call them trends.

 

Accordingly to Leo Tolstoy, “Art is the activity by which a person, having experienced an emotion, intentionally transmits to others”.

 

Art is not merely an act of creative exercise but art is body of passion that pervades the conventional boundary and builds on an idea that influences the collective wisdom of the society. The impact is long and deep, society embraces it slowly but certainly the dynamics of thoughts undergoes a shift in its routine path. Every painting tells a story, artists are storyteller, they play with imagery and the stories has a rooting in the varied events and multiplicity of things happening in the society that have affected the fundamental working, living and thinking of people of that society.

 

Art is such an important aspect of any society, just that it is not easy to understand and not simple to explain, but the message it carries is deeply profound and the movement art brings in any society is powerfully driven. Great artist think from their heart and their art makes the other to change their mind and the connection of mind through such visionary ideas only multiplies over time, and we see the sudden onset of revolutions. But these revolutions had their seeded in such diverse art works of these great artists…the philosophers and the thinkers. Art makes a massive difference in the way society perceives and progresses in its journey of life…but it gets unduly underestimated when placed with the innovation of science and the impact of science are instantly visible and effects are vehemently vocal.

Art tells story about science, literature, history, mythology and civilization that has gone by and we human beings are perennially curious to know about everything from the quest to the conquest that has happened in our society over the centuries.

Curiosity is at the bedrock of human mind and it keeps questioning and the queries are interesting and mostly intriguing, just that we always don’t have an appropriate answer or a satisfying response.

 

Mona Lisa to Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, Sistine Chapel to Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, School of Athens by Raphael Sanzio, Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon to Guernica by Pablo Picasso, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee to The Night Watch by Rembrandt Van Rijn, Girl with a Pearl Ring by Johannes Vermeer, The Scream by Edward Munch to Café Terrace at Night by Vincent Van Gogh are few of the masterpieces that has masterly crafted their way into the history book that has stood the test of time.

 

And it is motionless but it keep evoking the emotions even after many centuries and eras gone by…the stories resonates with equal vigor and vitality, are illuminated  without the light and the enticement, engaging us with the voice of color and space.

 

 

Art work is always a beautiful composition worked out of the creative imagination of artists. And these great artists imagine an image and then they manage to craftily transfer that fluid image from a state of imagination into a solid state of reality, and the canvas becomes their mirror.

Things keep happening around us and the society is witness to those events and few of these events then become the harbinger of major revolution, and we have history loaded with revolution that has crafted the course of our existence. Though scientific invention and innovation has changed the way we live life and the way life has lightened itself from the darker shades and lifted from the deeper state of problems, as human beings we need the sublime and surreal aspects of life…the sense of beauty, the sensory taste, appreciation of nature, the natural composition and the mystery of life and there is so much beyond the realm of science and rationality.

 

It is primarily through these subtle set of recourse, just by reconnecting with these great work of arts that makes us to pause and ponder, and then being able to deeply understand and profoundly appreciate the missing facets in our life, the nuanced life and a precursor to get spiritually connected…it’s all about holistically facilitating our inner consciousness, the art of acting meticulously, mathematically linking the missing moments on the magical canvas of our life.

Suddenly, the dots get connected.

The picture emerges…

Nevertheless,

Art is a jigsaw puzzle!!!

 


Nihar R Pradhan

Art Connoisseur