Sunday, August 29, 2010

Semblance of life

In the last few months, oil spills in two places were heavily discussed, notably in deep water horizon or the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In India, a few weeks back another oil spill occurred in Maharashtra when MSC Chitra (a cargo vessel) collided with another such small carrier MSC Khalijia few nautical miles off the coast of Mumbai. Other than the concern over environmental hazards, an apparent consequence of the mishap, fish markets saw a dramatic decrease in sales. People feared consumption of fish as it posed potential health risk(s). The aftermath of spill not only stalled movements of denizens in sea food markets, it also adulterated the pristine sea water that would take another few months for clean up.

Just before the spill occurred, I was sitting by the Gateway of India on a weekend. My first unofficial visit to Mumbai and the second to any beach. In this monsoon weather, Mumbai is in its true colors. Sitting at the Gateway of India, a vantage point, gives you a mesmerizing view of Mumbai in monsoon -- heavy clouds hovering over the monumental Raj-era buildings, kids playing around the monolithic Gateway, gusty sea waves slashing against the bulwark as if showing their mettle, rain drops drizzling under gravity and disappearing into the delicate sheet of water as it eventually approaches its final destination into the sea. Beside me on the wet floor, few birds are feasting on grains and taking a flight of gratification while carrying a few drops of rain on their feathers as if keeping them from reaching into sea. Undoubtedly, such a vista effectively undermined the torpidity of life and I felt as if lackluster languor is only a façade. This sensation of autonomy doffed off the delirium and the habit of inveighing all that life seemed to lack; a hortatory fervor suggestive of a new existence soon humified the clustered melancholy that seemed to have persisted for years now.

Although the effluvium would take some time to dispel from the sea, now, after few weeks of the spill, life looks normal. People will have resumed eating fish, and the sea will have once again gone blue. After this incident, I constantly feel an urge to visit Mumbai and gazing at life sitting alongside the Gateway of India. I once again want to see mirth in the glorious flight of those birds, the vanity in wings of those fledglings that have just completed their first flight, hoards of people running to an unknown destination living a mercenary life, dark sky infused with stochastic structures made up of dust and water vapors' amalgamation. And, I want to see unadulterated sea that to me is a sibylline emissary of life. I once again want to see life in all its hues.

Word Groups:

(0) Semblance - illusion
(1) Denizen, Dweller- a person who inhabits a particular place
(2) Adulterated, Debased- corrupt, mixed with impurities
(3) Pristine- immaculately clean ( free from contamination), primitive/unspoiled
(4) Mesmerizing- hypnotize
(5) Monolithic- massive, monumental
(6) Gusty-Blowing in puffs or short intermittent blasts, windy
(7) Bulwark-A protective structure of stone or concrete; extends from shore into the water to prevent a beach from washing away, seawall
(8) Mettle- the courage to carry on
(9) Undermine, Sap-weaken
(10) Torpidity, listless- lacking in spirit or energy
(11) Lackluster- lacking vitality, dull
(12) Languor, Lassitude-A feeling of lack of interest or energy, inactivity
(13) Façade-A showy misrepresentation intended to conceal something unpleasant, front (of a building)
(14) Doff- take off, remove
(15) Delirium-State of violent mental agitation
(16) Inveigh- complain bitterly
(17) Hortatory-encouraging, exhortive
(18) Fervor-Feelings of great warmth and intensity
(19) Humified- Convert to humus ( substance former by decaying)
(20) Melancholy. Gloomy, Morose, Sullen -A feeling of thoughtful sadness
(21) Effluvium- a foul smelling outflow/discharge
(22) Dispel- scatter, drive away, cause to vanish
(23) Mirth-Great merriment, laughter
(24) Vanity- feeling of excessive pride, self-love
(25) Fledgling, Neophyte, Callow- Young and inexperienced
(26) Hoards, Amass- gather/collect together, stockpile, save up as for future use
(27) Mercenary-Marked by materialism, wordly-minded
(28) Infused-Fill, as with a certain quality
(29) Amalgamation- combination
(30) Sibylline, Oracular-Resembling or characteristic of a prophet or prophecy/ Prophetic, Having a secret or hidden meaning
(31) Emissary- messenger
(32) Hue- color, aspect

Thursday, October 8, 2009

GRE Poetry

A self-molested, indecisive and confined life,
nebulously clustered hoard of thoughts and a gleaming prism like amorphous me
I am nowhere in the labyrinth,

iridescent blade of grass
evinces me a scattered photon of light on my pupil
I am untrue, it seems
I am nowhere in the labyrinth.

unharmonious pampared souls orchestrating the dance of mystic
and calling me to an unknown sanguine smile
today perhaps the last day of my dilemma
tomorrow I may get a way
but now,
I am nowhere in the labyrinth

Sunday, August 23, 2009

GRE Word Grouping- Fleeting life

It's been almost couple of weeks since I posted, but I would not like to vindicate by providing reasons of not putting up a post. Actually I vacillated mindfully (I think so) among a few things in order to formulate few more tactics on gre verbal. Eventually, I ended up with couple of things which are supposed to assist you in gre verbal and I will be discussing them in my subsequent posts. And to give you guys a perennial and palpable vocabulary without skimming over grotesque thesaurus or dictionary/lexicon, once again I am putting up here gre words- pictorially and contextually.

I am a biologist and forced to think rationally. Be it success or failure I need to see it empirically. But at times, science seems to be as quixotic as unseen mythological tale, and you have to think from heart. Lately, I happened to view a picture which was awarded 'Pultzir Prize' of 1994 (as shown in the picture; the eagle is waiting for the child to die so that it can eat him)The photograph symbolizes pinnacle of hunger, destitute, and the darker side of humanity suffering with poverty. In the canvas of fugacious life a seemingly inanimate child, here a sustenance for eagle, trying to make his way out of destiny. The hapless child crawling to reach a food camp, which perhaps he wouldn't happened to see- I just hope he survived. The haggard child, and a hungry eagle- it is not just two of them, there is an aery impuissance to which humanity seemed to have fallen pray- both are in the battle field of survival ship. And being a biologist I would see the incarnation of Darwinian theory- survival of the fittest- in such a manner, I never ever had imagined. But anyway that’s rules of nature- intangible but justified (though unwarranted to us).

Scientifically human life is beautiful colossal embodiment of infinitesimal molecules. But it's not enough for you to know about life. Instead, how these molecules orchestrate within the body to make it a functional, well designed paragon of complexity is something what you need to ingest before you come to any conclusion. And truly, life surrounds a lot more than just being a movable laboratory of subatomic particles, even though their organized interactions imbue us with emotions, thoughts, hunger, and with many more such humane feelings. Sometimes miniscule things matter a lot to us and many a times we just do not care about how people perceive us. All this is explainable scientifically- science certainly holds the nerve to decipher the code of life- but not unscientifically; wherein we feel the world philosophically. It might seem trite, whatever I am putting up here about life, but it does contain facts known to all of us. I wonder many a times how a positive news/attitude enlivens a vapid life making it variegated instantaneously. That is what called hormones or chemical messengers and their cadence in our mind fills us with feelings. And it keeps going until the dissolution of our body. In fact life is vital because it’s sporadic. It's irregular and discrete outburst of emotions- bound to time, space and person.

I assume I jabbered enough on my part to persuade you about the complexness of life. Though I was astonished to see such a harrowing conditions of human struggle, I thanked God for providing me with food and shelter. Humanity asks us nothing but for us to do our bit so that life can prosper all around on the earth.

(A) Vindicate- justify
(B) Vacillate, Waver, Hover- fluctuate/ be undecided about something
(C) Perennial, Recurrent- occurring again and again; A plant lasting three or more sessions
(D) Grotesque, Monstrous- Fantastic, Distorted and unnatural in shape or size/ large ; abnormal and hideous
(E) Pinnacle, Acme, Peak, Summit- Highest level or degree attainable
(F) Fugacious, Fleeting, Ephemeral- Short lived, lasting for short time, transitory
(G) Sustenance, Victual, Comestible- any substance that can be used as a food
(H) Hapless, Pathetic, Wretched- deserving or Inciting pity, pitiful
(I) Haggard, Gaunt, Cadaverous, Emaciated- Very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
(J) Colossal, Stupendous Prodigious- So great in size or force or extent as to elicit awe, enormous
(K) Trite, commonplace, Hackneyed- Repeated too often; over familiar through overuse
(L)Vapid, Insipid- Lacking taste or flavor, Lacking significance or liveliness or spirit or zest, DULL
(M) Variegated, Motleyed- Having a variety of colors
(N) Sporadic, Spasmodic, Intermittent, fitful- Recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable instances
(O) Harrowing, Agonizing- Extremely painful, distressing

Palpable ( perceivable); Lexicon (dictionary); Quixotic (idealistic and unrealistic); Destitute (poverty); Inanimate ( lifeless, appearing dead); Impuissance (helplessness); Unwarranted (unjustified); Infinitesimal (Infinitely or immeasurably small); Imbue (Spread or diffuse through); Miniscule ( very small); Cadence (rhythmic rise and fall); Astonished (stunned, Filled with the emotional impact of overwhelming surprise or shock); Jabber (chatter rapidly and unintelligibly)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

GRE WORD GROUPING-Sojourn and Swine flu

Last week I got some respite from my monotonous working life and visited Pune for a sojourn. I was traveling by train and it takes almost twenty-six hours before you begin to relish Pune's exhilarating monsoon. The odyssey, in no way, was going to be eventful and I realised this after five or six hours of traveling as I found everybody sleeping in my compartment. I was not in mood of hibernation, though I felt a little torpid. I bought a magazine to kill the ennui and was hoping to imbibe the magnanimous nature and its beauty through this transition from northern planes to the Deccan plateau. However, a nap would engulf me in between but an old impoverished seeker asking for money or food would wake me up. I happened to see a number of such people who seemed to have fallen prey to senility and now forced to pursue this occupation to get bread and butter of life. I would then continue looking out of window, feeling the inner serenity that the vast green fields brought to my mind. I usually don't enjoy sleeping in train (I avoid night journeys), but this time I didn't have an option. To make it worse, I found the berth space not capacious enough to sustain me. Throughout the night, I tried hard to ensconce my body into the confined berth space but my overly (although average in stature) sized body denied every posture. Eventually, I found solace when sleep embraced me in the wee hours. I was almost half way to my destination now. Next morning the whole gusto of visiting Pune went off air when I saw in newspaper swine flu cases were rising at a pace.
The first thing I observed when I entered the city was everyone wearing masks as prophylactic measures (using a mask proved to avert the spread of the disease in crowded areas). So to put an end to my apprehensions of getting infected I also purchased a mask. Next morning in the newspaper, I saw a picture of a long serpentine throng of people queuing outside hospitals waiting for their turn to get checked for the H1N1 virus. The state government had asked many hospitals to screen people and to take required actions to forestall any turmoil. However, media reported a couple of times mayhem outside hospitals where people were fighting for their turn- everybody wanted to get checked as soon as possible. It seemed less people were infected and more were nonplussed. Recently Govt. officials claimed that government is taking every necessary steps to prevent swine flu become a pestilence and to occlude its spreading in surrounding areas of Pune. Apart from that, the Govt. had also asked media to stop showing canard and to present a realistic situation without any fabrication. Moreover, scientists were claiming that this latent bug is not found to be pliable and is a mild form of the influenza virus, and the infection caused is certainly not invincible/ irremediable but curable at this point of time, atleast.
I am back in Delhi but the picture in Pune is still jumbling because of the panic undulated around in the city. Here, the take home message is: rather than creating chaos by believing in nugatory claims (either by media or hoax) one should follow Govt. guidelines to prevent infection- such as using masks, visiting hospitals when you see symptoms etc.
(1) Respite, Hiatus, Reprieve: A pause or gap for relextion
(2) Monotonous, Humdrum, Prosaic: Not challenging; dull or lacking imagination/ excitement
(3) Relish, Bask, Savor: Enjoyment (enthusiatic or vigorous)
(4) Exhilarating, Inebriating, Elating: Fill with sublime emotions; making lively and cheerful
(5) Impoverished, Indigent, Destitute: Poor enough to need help from others
(6) Serenity, Placidity, Tranquility, Repose: A feeling of calmness
(7) Apprehension, Misgiving, Dread: Fearful anticipation/expectation
(8) Turmoil, Tumult, Upheaval: Great commotion and confusion
(9) Nonplus, Perplex, Bewilder, Bemuse: Confuse
(10) Occlude, Obstruct, Impede, Obturate: hinder/ prevent
(11) Pliable, Malleable, Tractile, Ductile: Easily influenced; Flexible
(12) Jumble, Welter, Fuddle, Muddle: A confused multitude of things
(13) Enuui, Tedium: Boredom
(14) Senelity, Dotage: Mental infirmity because of old age
(15) Forestall, Preclude: Prevent (keep from happening/arising)
Other GRE words-- Sojourn ( a short stay); odyssey (a long eventful journey); Torpid (slow and sluggish); Imbibe ( absorb, take/drink in); Magnanimous (noble and generous in spirit); Capacious (large in capacity); Ensconce (settle, fix firmly); Solace (comfort in times of disappointment); Gusto (enthusiasm); Prophylactic (preventive); Serpentine (snake like in shape/form); Throng (Crowd); Mayhem (violent and needless disturbance); Pestilence (plague/ devastating epidemic of a disease); Canard (a deliberately misleading fabrication); Latent (inactive); Invincible (unconquerable, unbeatable); Irremediable (incurable, uncorrectable); Nugatory (worthless)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

GRE word grouping, pictorially and contextually

Can you tell what makes this picture singular that made me put it here?

I saw here a seed is burgeoning, leaving behind the dormancy/quiescence, and ready to embark on the process of life. Additionally it reminds me of those wispy childhood memories when, inspired by curiosity, I sowed few red kidney beans in our backyard garden; which usually had an array of flower varieties all across. I, being a novice in gardening, just dumped the beans and irrigated with scintilla of water. This whole exercise substantially satiated my longing, as I was pursuing it for many weeks but my brother, who was the founder director of this beatific garden, would never let me do this. Meanwhile I became busy with my school work and literally forgot to pamper those beans. After a week, one morning I was immensely happy to see two tiny cotyledons emerging out few inches above the ground. But in no time I went lugubrious and hopelessly sad when I observed black patchy area around the periphery of cotyledons. But as they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining. I poured down some water across the plantlet and went to school. I was elated by the beauty of palpable life when one day I looked at the leaflets and found them all well. That pellucid foliage,now, which had just revived from pallid appearance, giving ostensibly the impression of ethereal life.
This picture, subsumes an allegory of its own untold to many; if looked vividly. One day might come when, because of paucity of space, we would grow plants in such a manner. This seems a little bizarre but not unlikely. Apart from this, we can also conclude/ infer, if cogitate philosophically, that this picturesque sky, plant and hand together putting up a rebus. And, to decipher this puzzle we certainly require to contemplate over our hazardous contribution to kill natural habitats just for the sake of industrialization, globalization and many more such, so called 'lizations'...
In the long run, enough of grilling you guys, lets windup giving an example of Keano Reeves' recent movie" The Day the Earth Still Stood". He was seen escalating the notion of "Save Nature". So before aliens come to our planet to save this inscrutable earth, better we take initiative to understand our mother Nature and revere it for its bestowing us with life.

Word groups:
(I) Burgeoning, Germinating, Sprouting, Pullulating: Produce buds, branches,germinate
(a) Allegory, Emblem, Parable, Apologue, Fable : A short moral story (often with animal characters)
(b) Bizarre, Outlandish, eccentric, Peculiar ( peculiar has lil positive meaning, like unique, singular of its kind): Conspicuously or grossly unconventional
(c) Pellucid, Limpid, Lucid, Perspicuous: (of a language) clearly expressed; Transmitting light, able to seen clearly with ( ~ air)
(d) Subsume, Include, Encompass: contain or include
(e) Paucity, Scarcity, Dearth, Famine: an insufficient quantity or number, shortage of something
(f) Hazardous, Perilous, Dangerous: Causing fear or anxiety, intend to harm
(g) Scintilla, Iota, Shred: A tiny or scarcely detectable amount
(h) Lugubrious, Dolorous, Lachrymose: showing sorrow, sorrowful
(i) Ostensibly, Seemingly, Evidently, Apparently: from appearances alone
(j) Cogitate, Cerebrate, Mull Over: Using mind or power of reasoning to come to conclusions
(k) Novice, Tyro, Beginner: somebody new in a field
(l) Inscrutable, Cryptic, Mysterious: of an obscure nature, not easily understandable
Other words: Vague ( not clearly understood); palpable ( perceivable, understandable); rebus( puzzle consisting of pictures); decipher( to decode); grill ( examine thoroughly); ethreal (Characterized by unusual lightness and delicacy/ Divine in nature); revere (idolize, worship)quiescence( inactive state); elated ( high in spirit, joyful); satiate ( to satisfy, overeat); wispy( faint, lacking clarity); singular ( unique, one of its kind); bestow ( provide or present a quality).
I hope this post will provide you few gre vocabulary used in contextual and pictorial manner. Please make your comments to tell me what other modifications you guys want in this style of learning words.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

GRE online writing labs

Essay composition in GRE, in the issue and argument section, supposed to be the most intellectual task. One obvious question is, once you finished with your gre preparation- where to get your writing skills evaluated. There are number of paid services to assess your gre AWM (analytical writing measure) capabilities, but those who seek for any such service at free of cost have plenty of options now. Lets have a look: ( describes the elementory parts of a composition; contains wonderful collection of fiction, poetry, and manuscripts- biggest advantage is you can actually scroll through different styles of English writing, which can help you ignite a thought process) ( UW Madison online writing lab. listen their podcasts, get customized help on your writing. Apart from that how to improve writing style, types of writing assessments- writing proposals, essays, reviews, literary text reading and analyzing, and a lot more. This is panacea for those who really want to make a mark in gre AWM section in spite of having moderate English writing skills) ( This would serve a true companion during your gre preparation if you follow it right from the day you register for a gre test. Writing demystified beautifully, check this link if you want to enjoy gre writing) ( The Chicago Manual of Writing- an indispensable source of gre writing) ( The writing garden- indeed, find here huge number of writing links; information about almost every online writing lab of US)
Although, I have enormous number of such web links. its not feasible to put them all here. If any of you require more info on that let me know please. You can either comment or write me email here- In next post I will try to provide few vocab capsules.