Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Multitasking (Poetry & Science) and quote in/for a Rediff article

Dear Readers,

A few days back a fellow writer asked me about multitasking, and today carries excerpts from my response under the title: Moonlighting: How to make it work for YOU

Here is my full response (that may be useful as a note to self when I will find this duality in my existence overwhelming, for now I believe I am both a particle and a wave):

We live once, go from childhood to youth to middle age to old age is one sequence, or quite sensibly, in the sequence of four ashramas of ancient India. But we cannot always do things sequentially, and if we must follow our dreams and desires, we have to do multiple tasks. A working woman lives as a wife and a mother, while working men are also fathers or husbands. I believe multitasking comes spontaneously to some extent, but as tasks becoming tedious or tremendous, the will to do multiple things will come from the will to hold on to a love, an ideal, an idea or a myth about yourself. I am a scientist for ninety percent of my waking hours, but the poet/writer within who gets less than ten hours per week by choice, sustains my inner self. I am a scientist for I love to understand the world/ universe around me, the curiosity drives me, and the possibility of creating something new, inventing, the faith that I can discover something, meet the unknown and name it, tame it, keeps me engaged. The strange coincidence is that poetry includes the same sense of discovery, curiosity, creativity and skill. Both science and arts require devotion, skill, patience and practice, to bring the seed of talent to flower and fruit. Like in life, where we through away the chaff, and keep only the grain, success chooses its keepers quite strictly. No body likes a bridge that will fall under its own weight, or a poem that is worded without proper attention to rhyme and reason. The only means of doing multitasking then is by involving your most honest abilities and trained instincts in extra work that is intellectually, spiritually or economically necessary, or as Mahabharata says it, the four drivers being Artha, Kama, Dharma and Moksha. But if you open many fronts in a war, it may not be possible to expect the best returns on all fronts at the same time, and the General, ‘the person and his mind’, must be at one place at one time. The will sustains us, strategy ensures that we get to different fronts in time for proper assault, and yet, this does put a considerable strain on the self. If you are like me, if you burn both sides of the candle, you burn more and you burn faster. But: “I know my words, like embers, with turn to dust/ and yet I burn, for dazzle I must.”