It's another day-off.
A really unwanted day-off, much like all the others declared by our institute in this 4th and final semester, owing to non-availability of faculty. For the information of new visitors, I'm pursuing an M.M.S. (Mumbai University's fancy jargonesque term for a course ala an MBA, called the Master of Management Studies) in Finance from XIMR, Mumbai. I must admit, the 3rd semester was hell, and we always wished we had days off - anyone would, if they had lectures and workshops scheduled for 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
But now, things are different. We hardly have anything happening. If we do have anything scheduled, it's only for 3 hours, and then we're on our way home. No more sitting together, whining about the torture we're being subjected to, no more pass-it-around lunch sessions, no more candid rendezvous with buddies. We hardly get to talk anymore. Hardly 50% of us turn up. In fact, had it not been for the 50% compulsory attendance requirements, a lot of my buddies confess they'd never return to the institute at all. It's upsetting. And the worst thing is that it seems it's only me who's upset about it. The others don't seem to give a hoot. I understand that everyone's here to get their degrees and make careers for themselves. But hey, we've spent close to two years together, can you snap all ties just like that? Hell, we're still humans aren't we? Or are we ‘Managers’ already? It's depressing.
I've been spending these days trying to read up on stuff. I've also been watching a lot of movies lately - old and new alike.
Watched a really weird movie last evening. Its a Stanley Kubrick (of ‘Space Odyssey’ and ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ fame) classic from 1971 called ‘A Clockwork Orange’. It talks about how difficult it is to change someone's inherent nature, and how dangerous it can be if we tried. The protagonist, Alex, is a hooligan, who, along with his three gang-mates, indulges in 'Ultraviolence' - loot, vandalism and rape - at will. He eventually gets arrested and sentenced for murder, but becomes a subject for an experiment that seeks to change a violent person by administering a serum and certain procedures such that trigger reactions in his mind that make him feel nauseous whenever he tries doing something wrong. Although he stops doing the wrong things, the fact is that he's stopped only because he has no choice - its more survival-instinct and self-interest, than a change from within. The evil within him is only being suppressed, but it's still very much there.
Great idea. The movie got me thinking. I really want to watch all of Kubrick's movies now, or at least read the books on which his movies are based. Get hold of the movie and watch it, if you will, but make sure you don't watch it with your folks, coz trust me, you'll find yourselves cringing in embarrassment and shock - yeah, lots of uncomforting scenes.
Another thought - ever wondered how we suddenly develop sympathies for otherwise-terrible people when we see them do one good deed? On the other hand, honestly consider the quantum of hatred we have for a do-gooder who one day commits one bad mistake, or does something you could never imagine him doing. Doesn't the sympathy for the bad guy surpass the hatred for the good one by light years?
What's the Psychological term for this? Calling all Psychology students...