Life and Turbulence

This article is meant to be included in my college’s magazine so the examples given here are more relevant to a college student, however, you’ll still get an idea of what I am trying to say once you make your way through these three paragraphs.

Being a Mechanical Engineer in the making, I feel it irresistible to correlate what I see to what I experience. From what I have learnt so far in life, if one do anything with passion, then the similar principles can be used to lead a better life. Sports develop your character, arts develop your creativity. Even a chain-smoker, at some point, develops the awareness that lung cancer and blindness are not too far behind. But usually, he/she neglects it. My experiences with fluid dynamics have provided me an insight to a better day-to-day life and you do not need to be an engineer to understand what I have to say.

There are two kinds of flow that we usually work with: laminar and turbulent. Laminar is a very structured sort of flow in which layers of fluids flow over one another. Think of your classmate who when given a certain condition, will always respond the same. Class bunk karte hain? NAHI! (Let’s bunk the class today? NO!) Bhai aaj class mat ja please? NAHI! (Don’t go to the class bro? NO!) That is what laminar flow is. If you do an experiment over and over again, you will get exactly the same results. Quite a good-boy kind of flow. On the other hand, turbulent flow is characterised by its chaotic nature. No matter how accurately you try to experiment, you can never get two exactly same turbulent flows. Fluctuations are what makes it unique. Though there exists a constant mean value of almost every parameter (like the laminar case), but once the fluctuations come into the picture, the whole story changes. It’s like your attendance at the end of the semester. On an average, it would be somewhere around 70-75%, but if you plot it on a graph for all of your classmates, you know how terribly fluctuating that thing would look like.

I happen to have a theory which I would like to put before you. Our daily lives are just like this turbulent flow: chaotic, non-repeatable and unpredictable. At least for the human beings, I don’t think you can have any two days exactly the same in your entire lifetime. Can you? Fluctuations make up the problems we face, big and small. For someone not taking in the bigger picture, these fluctuations may never seem to fade and could occur endlessly. Have you not seen people complaining about their lives all the time? How about that friend of yours who cries “yaar kuch nahi padha (Hey I didn’t study a thing)” before every exam? Maybe, he’s just creating a pseudo-fluctuation to fool you! Or maybe not. However, as one zooms out, you might start to notice that constant happiness-line hiding behind these problems. You won’t realise it until you are brave enough to look outside the fluctuation box. Happiness does always exist, you don’t even have to ask for it. Once you make your way through the problems, one at a time, you’ll feel it growing inside. It’s like a friend who saves a desk for you despite you getting late in every other class. It’s like that friend who carries you through all of your break-ups. My message here is simple: problems are inevitable, suffering is optional. Think about it!

I’d like to hear your thoughts on my theory. Feel free to complement, amend and criticise it 🙂


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