It’s About Time….

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At the outset let me apologize to AE (Albert Einstein) because am not at all happy about the way time or should I say space-time(aren’t they related?? Yeah!! Relativity!) has completely taken over our lives. Space-time, because we are always trying to reach from point A to point B in the least possible time. Be it the office, a rendezvous point to meet the client, trying to go up the corporate ladder, trying to better our social status, you name it. We are completely overwhelmed by the clock and the deadlines. We are now lifelong hostages of the digits or the pointed hands in the clock.

I can hardly think of any activity over the weekdays that is not governed by time. And by the way AE, why does time travel faster on weekends?? Just when it seems that the weekend has started, you have the specter of a dark and gloomy Monday hovering over you. To me, time is a monster that has gone berserk, devouring everyone and everything in this universe.However, the moot question remains, does time really exist? Time to apologize to AE again since am taking a shot at deciphering time(minus the space)with my peanut sized intellect.

It is the difference between now and then, before and after, here and there. In other words, any change results in time. It could be change in the state of the object, change in its position, change in its size, change in colour or even change in the sound or noise level. This is my theory but there are some interesting theories about time.


A Theory : Introduced by the Scottish idealist and philosopher John McTaggart in 1908. According to this theory, the events can be ordered as past, present and future. They call it a “tensed” theory. This is what we have readily accepted about time. But hold on, there is another theory…

B Theory : Again introduced by John McTaggart in 1908. This theory subscribes to a “tenseless” concept of time. It does away with the concept of flow of time. In other words, the past, present and the future all exist at the same time. Now this is very interesting. What this effectively means is at this moment, I exist in a specific time slice in the Einstein 1932spacetime fabric (Sorry AE for trampling again on your spacetime fabric!) and that each time slice is connected to the next one forming what I understand as my lifetime. It is like a film being played out but who or how is it decided if it is being played forward or backwards? Isn’t it all relative? I can already feel AE glaring at me.

Dr.Bradford Skow, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has proposed that space-time is like a “Block universe” where past, present and the future all exist together. He further elaborates that we are spread out in space-time in a “temporarily scattered” condition!!

If I were to take a look at my entire lifetime, I would need to transcend my existing reference time-frame and this is what I may see. My entire lifetime on something like a film strip.


My Lifetime

images (4)Interestingly, in The Bhagwad Gita too there is a reference to the timelessness(Na Bhuto na Bhavishyati) of the spiritual soul. So if am that spiritual soul (no… don’t laugh), I was, I am and I will be or just, I continue to be..!!  See AE, it is even messing up the grammar.

Now if we go beyond the argument of the existence of time and observe its behavior, scientists have found that time behaves differently near the Earth and away from it. They have conducted experiments with two similar clocks, one placed near the ground and another placed few feet above the ground. The clock placed above ticked few billionth of a second faster than the one near the ground. As it turns out, time flows faster away from gravity.  This is also known as Time Dilation.

All objects in the universe warp space-time and thus affect gravity.


Two dimensional space-time warp


Three dimensional space-time warp

The heavier the object, greater is the warping of space-time. Hmm.. may be that is the reason why Elephants and Whales move slowly.

Time is also affected by motion. The faster you move, slower the time flow. They (scientists) actually sent an atomic clock on a plane around the world and when it came back, it was slower by about 230 nanoseconds. Now that’s not exactly a lot of time but if you do manage to travel somewhere near or equal to the speed of light and more importantly do manage to come back, you could possibly be enacting the scene in Interstellar where your daughter would be the age of your grandmother.

Another quirky quality of time: Different people perceive the same event occurring at different speeds. Enter AE again..!

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He claimed that events that appear simultaneous to a moving person may not occur simultaneous to a person standing still. So we may have individuals living in their own timelines or time cocoons. Could be the reason why some people appear more aged compared to their actual age than others.


Time stops outside of a black hole. A black hole is a point in space-time which is incredibly dense due to insane force of gravity. The gravity is so strong that even light bends towards it or if the source of light is inside the black hole, it may never come out. main-qimg-c5fc977b65066309384fa3e1a84fa1aaMost interesting aspect of this “gravitational singularity” is that time stops. So if you were to observe Superman going into a black hole, first you would see him slowing down as he gets near the “event horizon” and as soon as he just crosses the event horizon, he would appear completely still! Forever! That’s because time stands still at the event horizon. However for Superman, time would pass in the exact normal way as it would on Krypton or on Earth.

It is pretty clear now that time is not such an innocent creature after all. Its behavior differs from place to place, person to person, speed to speed and last but not the least, it plays games with your brain. There are four very simple things you can do to escape its effects:

  1. Push it to the event horizon.
  2. Get out of your existing reference time frame.
  3. Travel at the speed of light.
  4. Settle inside a black hole.

It’s about time……


If time travelled backwards

nature-images-86Sometimes I get weird ideas, so weird that they qualify to be labelled as thought aberrations rather than ideas. But the mind refuses to be reined in and continues to run amok. One such thought aberration was what if time travelled backwards? Now Einstein would be surely turning in his grave saying it’s all relative and there is no such thing as forward or backward. However, with my current frame of reference and the way my mind is programmed to think, “clockwise” is time travelling forward and “anticlockwise” is travelling backward. With that issue settled, let’s embark on a journey “back in time”, literally.

I would start my life as an 80 year old, with standard complement of medical complexities, whiling away my time, cursing others, creating occasional nuisance and ogling at women third my age, boys will be boys! Not a bad start, considering the fact that I would already be retired and the onus of my responsibility (actually burden) would be on my immediate family rather than other way round. After spending couple of decades, I would have gradually regained my health and would be about to join the workplace.

The medical complexities would have ebbed and I would be joining the workplace at the pinnacle of my (erstwhile) career, with its full baggage of pressures, responsibilities et al. It would be cool to have all the knowledge and the experience prior to joining the workplace. No interview, no tests. Over a period of few years, I would gradually “move down” the corporate ladder.

Though I may have a settled life, the customary midlife crisis would make it appear as if I am the most unsettled and the most unfortunate of them all. While desperately trying various options for course correction including retirement, I would essentially stay on the same course just procrastinating. While the midlife crisis would die down, I would still be doing the tight rope walk trying to balance my personal and professional life.

Meanwhile my full grown, full-fledged family would be progressively getting younger each day. The kids who had just got a job and were independent would now be attending college and then “graduate” into school. While in school, wouldn’t it be amazing to show them their own photographs and videos when they were older? Same would go for me and my wife when we would look at our photographs and videos when we were old and have a hearty laugh. One immensely satisfying thing would be to lose the flab around the waist and get the foliage back on the head.

As I would progress back in life, one day I would get married and the next day I would be a bachelor! Oh how I yearn to be a bachelor….if my wife reads this, am sure to get killed or maimed. Subsequently, it would be the good old college, sun in my eyes, wind in my hair, no studies, no worries….just friends, fun and movies. Next, it would be time to go to school. The energy, the insatiable desire to learn new things, the innocence and excitement would return. I would find joy in small things like jumping in puddles, playing in dirt, chasing insects and butterflies, making paper boats and airplanes.

Getting younger and younger, I would lose weight and height, would start wearing colourful clothes with images of cartoons, slowly losing my vocabulary. Instead of saying full words and sentences, would start blabbering in monosyllables. My routine would now be eating, sleeping, crawling around and again eating and sleeping. The diaper would take care of the rest. Finally it would be time to say goodbye to the world and get into my mother’s womb!


The Writer’s Block Conspiracy

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One of the many creative urges, it’s far from many though, that I started getting lately is writing. People usually tend to get creative under extreme pressure, exceptional circumstances, a flash within or pure in-born talent. However, for someone like me who is exceptionally sedate, laid back, perpetually short of ideas and with a distinct lack of initiative, it’s a kind of mystery. Nevertheless, I sat down to write and that itself was an achievement. But that’s how far I went! Suddenly the enthusiasm, thoughts and ideas(as if I had many) went dry like a solitary tap in the middle of Sahara. But I was not giving up so easily. My mind frantically scrambled to look for ideas, past experiences, my interests, trending topics and anything under the sun! I closed my eyes trying to summon the thoughts within, then looked here and there and finally burned few calories pacing up and down the house. But all I got was vast emptiness, like deep space, finite but unbounded. Like a car with critically low battery, the thought engine would just not kick in.

writers-blockFinally I decided to take recourse to what else, Google! I searched for topics to write and was flooded with hundreds of topics, techniques and writer’s block. What I was experiencing was essentially a writer’s block. At some point of time or the other, every writer had or still has writer’s block. So now I gleefully shifted the blame on this phenomenon and restored my self-esteem. Usually am not inquisitive, but decided to take a deep dive. Soon I found out there was tons and tons of data or research on writer’s block. There are thousands of pages written about what are the common blocks and how to overcome them. The more I searched, the more I started getting lost. I kept opening new tabs and windows for different blocks and the ways to overcome them. The RAM on my laptop was now getting suffocated and my head was getting hazy.

There were so many types of writer’s blocks like not being able to come up with an idea, not able to build upon that idea if any, you have an outline but cannot get started, you are in the middle of a plot and don’t know what happens next, you simply get bored with your characters, you keep imagining that people would not like your story, you can’t think of right words to convey the idea, you have a great story lined up but suddenly go numb, you think you are good in a topic of your interest but just can’t write anything significant about it, you are revising your work but can’t seem to get past the blocks, phew!! The list goes on and on and there are equal number of ways listed out to get past them. From the search results and the amount of content written on this phenomenon, am smelling a conspiracy to blow the problem out of proportion and prevent budding writers like me to write. Even there are forums where people are ever ready to dish out advise on how to overcome the block. The more you search ways to get around the problem, the more you get entangled and finally after sometime you forget what kind of block you had and end up getting totally disillusioned.

They have created a whole industry out of this writer’s block with many books, articles, blogs, support forums and what not. Am all the more convinced about the writer’s block conspiracy but hey, I just got an idea to start a conspiracy theory series similar to what Jesse Ventura, the former Governor of Minnesota had.