How mysterious is the process of thought! How desultory, how aimless, and how very beautiful. There is something inherently romantic about the thought process. The most thoroughbred of scientists, on occasion, will indulge in cogitation that is hardly methodical or systematic. His thoughts will lead him through a winding, twisting labyrinth of memories long dormant, feelings long suppressed, and dreams much beloved.

This week's edition of Weekend Thoughts presents the thoughts of Rashmiranjan, an aspiring young community planner from Kansas. In a short piece of prose marked strongly by feelings and sensibilities, rather than by reason, he shares with us a snapshot of his thoughts, a window through which we may view his personality.

The meandering thoughts of a lazy Saturday morning, that's what I call his article. Not the thoughts "on" a Saturday; instead, the thoughts "of" a Saturday. Thoughts belong to an instant of time. They are owned by a moment in time. A few moments hence, those thoughts are gone, lost in the bottomless ocean that is the past, and a search resumes afresh, a search to recover those thoughts; to weigh, measure and appraise them.

The review is by Mr Anirudh Sahoo, a brilliant doctoral student in computer science at Texas A&M University. Like his past contributions to Ornet, here, too, his touch of pragmatism and common sense is unmistakably clear. Hope you enjoy reading today's article.


Amitabh Mishra May 17, 1996

Author's Self-Introduction

Name: Rashmiranjan Jyotiprakash (Rashmi)
Email Address: rashmi@ksu.ksu.edu

Born: 2nd June 1974 (Bhubaneswar)

Family: Mr. Raghunath Sahoo (Father) 
        Mrs. Pramila Sahoo (Mother)
        Soumya Ranjan (Brother)
        Subhadra (Sister)
Education: I.Sc, F.M. College, Balasore,
	   Bachelor of Architecture, Sept '94, O.U.A.T., Bhubaneswar.
	   Master's, Regional and Community Planning, Kansas St U., May '96.

Likings: Hindi music & movies (old)
         Good Oriya food (homemade)

The Meandering Thoughts of a Lazy Saturday Morning

I am writing about some of my personal feelings of one of my days here in the USA.

It was one of those days in Kansas when you feel good about the sunshine on a Saturday morning. I pulled away the curtain covering the window to allow some sunlight in. Still, did not roll the window up lest the chilly wind should come in. It was already 11:30 in the morning. I always wake up late on Saturday mornings. With a blank mind, played a cassette of Mukesh's. I have always received comments from some of my friends for listening to oldies. And I always keep telling them that for some reason, I am stuck with the past. Once one of my friend's aunt was surprised to find me buy 7 CD's containing old songs, spending $70. Anyway, coming back to my Saturday morning, I just lay on my long sofa, listening to the songs and humming each word as emotions started pouring in. I still cannot tell if it is my heart or my mind which brings me those emotions.

However, the thoughts started getting complicated. Why am I here in the USA? Is it the studies (as if it will matter so much in long run)? Then what is happening to life itself? I am kind of getting used to the idea of Coke, the car, the computer, the phone, so on and so forth. Am I really going to go back to India (the strong feeling I had to go back to India, when I came here)? If at all I do go back, I won't have those old friends any more. Neither am I part of their life nor are they part of my life anymore. What will I find to attach myself to? Again thinking, I guess I have not laughed heartily and happily since I left India. Everybody here is busy. You just smile here, you don't laugh. Even with my Indian friends, it is all the same. Do the assignments, do thesis, defend it and get a job. Well, I don't blame them or anybody else for that, because circumstances make a man. So that's how they are. Somewhere in the process, life is lost. It is crying aloud to take in some fresh air; it is getting suffocated.

It has been long since I have been in these thoughts now. In between, I have also changed the cassette. Still not able to reason out any balance between my work, studies and life. Don't remember how many big sighs I have given out in between. The song "Ruk Jana Nahin Tu Kahin Har Ke" is in the air now. And I am still on the sofa, guess doing what? Call it whatever you want. "Waste of Time! Being Sentimental! Being Philosophical!" But I always think that during these few moments of my thoughts, I am myself.

Review by Mr. Anirudh Sahoo

The author has brought out the same dilemma that every first-generation Indian has. These kind of thoughts always surface during discussions at Indian gatherings, in the minds of all the Indian American parents when their children reach teen age, and when Indian Americans grow old. The author has done a good job of describing the situation in a poetic and rhetorical manner.

But I was disappointed to see that the author thinks that studies (education) will not matter in the long run. I assume that the author himself is well educated and I am surprised that he does not see a difference between people with and without an education. I feel education is very important for a person. There is certainly a marked difference between two persons earning the same amount of money, but one being better educated than the other. Education, I mean real education, has a lot of good influences that are very important towards building one's character, career and personality. Unfortunately, most Indians do not demonstrate that they have got real education. Even if they are well educated, they still participate in encouraging various social evils, and do things that they very well know are wrong.

Your comments are always welcome...

Rashmiranjan Jyotiprakash
Rashmiranjan Jyotiprakash

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