Sunday, August 31, 2008

An element of my blood

I have often talked about my hatred for Mathematics. Whenever I have complained about the problems cropping up while studying, I have blamed Mathematics. But, I have never mentioned a word about the subject which has helped me to stay calm even during the most critical situations. I have always assured myself, "Never mind, there's still History...."

I had liked History from Day One. It has always been fascinating to read about people who lived years ago and to understand their lifestyle, their achievements using nothing but human labour, both physical and mental and their ability to think beyond their times. The strength of mind that they have shown before numerous wars or their failure to show it and the reasons associated with either of the two attitudes always provides for an interesting read.

How can History ever be boring? I know that different people have diffferent preferences. I myself hate Math whereas there are many who don't. But, I have seen that eighty percent people don't like History. And, its not just hatred. They treat History as an inferior subject; a subject whose study requires no special skill, a subject where success is guaranteed if you can memorize well, a subject which is infinitely boring , a subject which is useless because it deals with the past....Their comments hurt me and prick me like a needle because History has been my saviour. Over the years, I realized that it is the subject on which I have a very firm grip and it is difficult for others to loosen that grip. But, its not that I like History just because it fetches me good marks but because of the subject itself. We must know something about our past. We have got to be acquainted with the reasons for the existing world problems and those reasons can only be provided by History.

The other day, my friend was telling me that its good that I have taken up Humanities and that all my subjects are good. But, how am I tolerating History? "Even if you are studying History now, you obviously won't do your graduation in History?", she asked and then added, "Will you?", a bit doubtfully. I replied that if the circumstances let me take up History, I will do it. Then, she said, "You have a lot of patience." Now, why is it that one always needs patience to study only History? Isn't patience needed for studying itself, irrespective of what subject it is?

Anyway, I have stopped caring about such comments because deep down, I know that History is an element of my blood. I love to get transported to a different world whenever I study History and the two of us are inseparable mates. If History is removed from my blood and my soul, I will not survive...

9 comments:

Dhrubo said...

Hmm..I can empathise with you. People still recoil with horror when I tell them I hate science and love literature.
I found history fascinating but of course not to the extent you have!
Have a great week!

Woodsmoke said...

There are few subjects in the world that are as interdisciplinary as history. I personally think it is only people who are incapable of understanding the complexity of the human mind and how it functions that are truly horrified or fatigued by it. If it were a discipline solely devoted to memorizing then all that we, who have indulged in our love for the same, would have done would be to memorize the same thing again and again in complete disregard or ignorance of the new research and interpretation that is forever undergoing. For me, the most special part about history is that it raises the question of "what if." And ultimately, it's all about understanding mind games and how humans beings have pitted themselves against each other in various circumstances.

Although I know you are too well-behaved to do this, but next time someone tries to be offensive to you about your love for your favorite subject, consider showing them your middle finger and instead of saying the obvious and obligatory, "Fuck off!" try asking, "So! Do you go by the French/English/Graeco/Roman or Mediterranean interpretation? Oh sorry, you wouldn't know. It's the world of history that came up with this gesture after all."

B. O'Hemian said...

History is a very important subject, no doubt about that. However, what we do with the knowledge of history to define our present and shape our future is what I think is more important. This applies to all subjects, of course. There, I think, collectively we fail very often.

newsgroups said...

I have studied mathematics and loved it when I was on high school. I like to delve into history too, but in those days on school, it was taught a bit boringly. So it has not been my favorite subject.
I must notice that in mathematics you also get transported to different worlds. Worlds which can be based on rules other than those of today's world. It is interesting to imagine what would happen if those rules were mapped on our world. Like it is done in the book 'Flatland' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatland)
In a two-dimensional world, when you walk in a mobius strip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6bius_strip) you come back on the point where you started, but then everything around you is reflected! Amazing!
------------
I think it is good to think about your future job. What do you want to add to the world? When history can help to accomplish these dreams, then it is OK to go for it. Otherwise, please consider whether it will carry you on or just be fun to do.
There is much to which history can help, so don't think that I am saying that history is leading to nothing. I just want you to look beyond the pleasure of studying, and look at your future.
Greetings! nanny

Scribbles! said...

Hey,
There are certain times in history I have liked. I never did well in history...infact I flunked in it many times hee! it was one of my undergrad subjects too. I didnt like studying it...but I liked the stories, strategies, game plan used at that time.
I don't get it why does one need patience for studying history...

Titash said...

Don't bother! It is apparent that they have little idea or understanding of History.

Soorma said...

well,i surely know how much u love history!always d one who answered Mita ma'am questions correctly!!
well,even like history(but not d civics part!!),which u quite know.thou i didn't expect,but i got A in history in ICSE!! Quite cool,eh!!well, happy hitory-ing!!
SOORMA

~ Deeps ~ said...

i never liked history when i was a kid.....geography was the fav among the trident (his, civics and geog) which was called Social studies.......but somehow in my later yrs of grad.....i started reading it a lot and now i just keep on looking for good books in history...spl modern history phase....

Butterfly said...

@Dhrubo
And, like you, I still haven't figured out why they recoil!

@Woodsmoke
That's not a bad idea at all! Next time, I will surely do something like this! Thanks for the suggestion, but not the middle finger part!

@SubhadipDa
And that's what people don't understand. That History can also define our present and future simply doesn't strike them!

@Nanny
Greetings!
Thanks for your concern and as you said, I must also think about History beyond the pleasure of studying. Well, I have and have seen where it will lead me and believe me, it seems bright...

@Scribbles
I didn't get that patience thing either!
Anyway, whether you flunked in History or not is a different matter. At least, you didn't hink that it was a useless subject.

@Titash
You said it!

@Soorma
Welcome to the world of a muggle!
And, it was not always me who would answer Ma'am's questions first! You and Sukanya were there too.

@Deeps
Even I like Geography a lot but not as much as History.