By M.V.Ramakrishnan

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 : Resuming AOL!

When I started writing this column online last year, I happened to be vacationing in Oregon, USA. The column had taken off like a rocket and shot into cyberspace, quickly settling down as an observation outpost in an orbit around the world, transcending the time barriers and surveying past, present and future scenarios.  I began with a promising set of five brief essays on the intriguing phenomena of Internet and 'information technology' -- under the titles Great Cyberian Ocean (Sept. 15, 2010), Marvels Of The Modern World (Sept. 17), Tempo Of Transformation (Sept. 29), Transglobal Vision (Oct. 5), and Psychology Of Turbulence (Oct. 13). 

But while it was relatively easy to visualize and define the trends of scientific progress and the tempo of technosocial transformation, it was a formidable task to explore their infinitely intricate psychological and philosophic connotations; so I thought a short break would be in order.  And just when I was looking for some refreshing topic to discuss meanwhile, the media were splashing the hot news that certain American equipment carried by India's very first moon shot (launched by the Indian Space Research Organization) had found conclusive evidence of the presence of water on the moon.

So I wrote a note screaming Bravo, NASA!  Bravo, ISRO!  in my next article (Oct. 20, 2010).  And when I was researching the whole history of American and Soviet space exploration in this context, I found myself instinctively humming a famous Russian song, so I wrote a piece on Ochi Chorniye!  (Oct. 31). Thus I had come down from cyberspace to ordinary space!  And the next thing I knew, I had landed on terra firma, with a nostalgic note titled The Blue Danube Blues (Nov. 11)  --  regarding the disturbing news of a toxic flood of red sludge from a ruptured storage tank  in a Hungarian alumina factory, which contaminated the beautiful river Danube through creeks and connected waterways.

And before I realized what was happening, I was back in my own home in Chennai, India, on precisely the opposite side of the world, resuming my normal life and routines, and finding it extremely difficult to continue the Articulations Online.  Week after week, and month after month, I strived hard to sail again on my wonderful little boat across the Great Cyberian Ocean, but found it impossible to do so.  But here I am now, exactly one year later, on this unique and auspicious date of 11-11-2011, with a firm resolution to resume my marvelous adventure.