Monday, December 29, 2008

Back from Heaven

Heaven!!! That was what I thought of Kundapur, my granny's home, when I was a kid. Every year, religiously, the 2 months of summer holidays were spent there. It was paradise for us. Going from my home at Bangalore, where our every action was monitored and we were forbidden from any kind of play that might be slightly injury prone; to kundapur, with the huge house and huger garden, where no one gave a damn about how many times you fell and scraped your knee; it indeed seemed like we had escaped into a heavenly place.

We were put to work but, like the Tom Sawyer story, it seemed like play to us. We had to carry mangoes, coconuts and jackfruits plucked by the workers and take them up to the house, in big baskets. At the end of the day, we got to eat as many mangoes as we wanted, and, this gave new meaning to the phrase "Sweet fruits of labour " :) . Any function at home meant that we would have to make packets of sweets to be distributed.

Afternoons were spent lazing on the room on the roof, that we called MaaLi, playing on the big swing, listening to hundreds of tapes on a squeaky old tape recorder, singing at the top of our voices, dancing, waking up the Adults below!

Then, evenings consisted of trips to the beach, which would generally be followed by a masala dosa and a gudbud, or a trip to the river followed by Annayya's wonderful charmburya upkari, or a walk around the town, or a visit to relatives' homes at Udupi. We really did not mind where we went as long as we had the company of our cousins.

Then, we grew up. Took up different couses of study, different careers. It became impossible for all to come to Kundapur at the same time. Some got married and it got tougher for them. We made new friends, had new responsibilities and we slowly drifted apart.

Last week, under the pretext of Sume's marriage, we all ended up at K'pur together and it was just like the olden days. Made packets of sweets, lazed about, paid the customary visit to Annayya's , ate countless upkaris, had banana leaf meals jointly, with all uncles and aunts, volunteered for serving, went down to the garden, walked among the trees- our old friends, looked at frogs in the tank, threw stones at them, worried ourselves to death when one frog did not resurface upon getting hit, let out whoops of joy when he emerged a few moments later, unhazed by the assault; cracked silly jokes, laughed our heads off at things that do not seem funny when narrated later, imitated elders, bossed over younger siblings, fussed over our clothes, strutted about in the function, ate excellent home made food... In short, enjoyed bliss.

It was a trip down the memory lane. A refreshing time, a time for bonding with cousins, for remembering all the good times we had had, a time for destressing the body and detoxing the soul. Feeling rejuvenated and at least a decade younger. The best age reversal treatment is to just become a kid again!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eyes are the window to the soul.

video

Was listening to this song and dreaming that it was dedicated to me. :)) If anything, I love my eyes. Proud of them, the windows to my soul.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baby talk

OCTOBER BABY
Loves to chat. Loves those who love them. Loves to takes things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn't pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Brave and fearless. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care to control emotions. Unpredictable.

Extremely smart, but definitely the hottest AND sexiest of them all.



Got this from MayaM in a forward today. The pic doesn't look like me, and, also, all they say doesn't match me... But, the last line.. that's me! Says it all in a line :D [modesty thy name is Moi :D]

P.S. What it says about November borns is very interesting too :) People whose birthdays are coming up soon should read the mail :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Prodigal Son

It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. - Luke 15:32

He was her favourite child. Though she had two daughters, this son was the apple of her eye. He was forever wayward. Always out to seek women and adventure, coming home occasionally. But whenever he did come home, she would forgive all his mistakes, probably give him a gentle chiding, and shower him with love and care.


He had been gone a long while, this time around. She awaited his arrival daily, looking towards the door at every smallest sound. She remembered him at all meal times, eyes misting over. She wondered wherever that he was, whether he was eating well. Her daughters and husband told her that this time he might not come back. She refused to believe them. But, as the days passed, unwillingly, she had to accept it. Maybe he wouldn't return this time. Maybe he had found some other place to stay... or maybe he had.... She shuddered at the latter thought and hoped he was safe wherever he was. Slowly, she stopped anticipating his return. When one day, suddenly.... "Meow! Meow! Meow!" Her face broke into a million dollar smile, as she ran to open the door. The Prodigal son had returned!! :)



Monday, October 27, 2008

Lead Kindly Light

Today is Diwali. The festival of lights. The day light dispels all gloom and brightens the path ahead. 

And, the path is beautiful . It has its ups and its downs, but, it also has you as my co-traveller.

And, today, a lamp was lit that shone some light on this path. What a beautiful diwali indeed. 





Thursday, October 2, 2008

Run maadi Run :)

Been running since today morn. Woke up late, left home late and ran to the bus stop. Sat, BP rising, as the bus slowly crawled through Eid celebrations at Chamrajpet. Ran to catch bus to Malleshwaram at Majestic. Cursed when bus stopped at main gate rather than the ATM gate. Ran to class, and, was still 5 min late. Hurried to finish last problem in the assignment, during RV's class. Got Gaya3's message about the movie, and, rushed to ATM gate soon after class. Ran around for an auto to Sigma mall. Sat in the auto, BP rising, as the auto crawled through the traffic [looked like the whole world and it's aunt were on the streets today!]. Ran to get tickets at Sigma. Luckily, today was one of those rare occasions where the queue I was in was the one that moved quicker! Then, ran through the mall to the movie halls. Must say, Sigma is one of the worst constructions ever. No direct lifts and escalators and steps so positioned that one has to literally take a pradakshina around each floor to reach the stairs to the next level! Finally, made it in on time - even for the trailers!! :) 

Got home, and thought it was the end of running for the day. Now, my nose has started running. Bah!!! 

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pages from my old diary


"A man who keeps a diary pays, due toll to many tedious days; But life becomes eventful --then, his busy hand forgets the pen. Most books, indeed, are records less of fullness than of emptiness." - William Allingham

Went through my old diary today. Pages and pages of my heart poured out. Foolish but touching emotions of a girl crazily in love. It was as though, through my diary, I was trying to make up for all the conversations we never had. Pages of ache and longing, and euphoria on those few days on which you gave signs that made me feel special [or so I thought].

Now, it all seems ancient.

I read each word on each page - I owed it to myself to do so - before I tore it up. Not because I have moved on or because it is symbolic of getting over you. Or because the man in my life now asked me to do so - he's mature enough to be beyond these requests. It's because they hold no meaning for me anymore. When there are no more emotions - love, longing, pain or anger, it makes no sense to preserve the relics. It's time to declutter - my bookshelf. My mind is already clean.

Funny how I haven't written a diary since the last year. Maybe it's just that my life is full now - as I always wished it to be.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Protected !!

Ever felt so loved that it was like a blanket over you, an impenetrable cocoon of goodwill which shields you from harm??


Had an accident on Saturday night. Was riding pillion on the scooty, fell off. Had a head injury, lost consciousness for a while. Needed suturing. But, no internal bleeding, no concussions, no fractures. Escaped with minor injuries, as in all previous accidents.

People say "Touch wood! You have been incredible lucky" . I say "I am loved".

Thursday, September 11, 2008

10, 9, 8, 7,...........

The countdown has begun.. less than 168 hours to go!! Excitement mounts!! :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Only the wearer knows....

"Life is full of unexpected events", as Prof. Swati puts it. My life has also been having its share of unexpected happenings recently.

To begin with, got rejected at the Rhythmica auditions. As Amma correctly, and, irritatingly so, put it , I haven't really been practising much over the last three years, so, surely my singing has deteriorated. But, used to giving exams unprepared and, luckily, doing well at them, I had developed an exhalted self image, and, the rejection just burst the ego balloon. My first reaction was - "I made a fool of myself. I'm not going back there, ever." Over time, the feeling changed to -"I'm going to practise real hard, go back there at the next auditions and show them what a good singer they rejected." Now, once the wounded pride stopped smarting and ground state was reached, the feeling is -" will try and practise whenever I can, and, give the auditions a shot next time round as well." If nothing, I should at least have perseverence, esp. given that I'm embarking on a PhD :D

Now for something of more immediate consequence. Taklu, at the hostel office seems to have developed an utter dislike towards me. After school, I can safely say this is the first time it's happened. Somehow, I never have had problems in communicating with non-academic staff, auto drivers, shopkeepers etc. Even at Bombay, where I couldn't speak Marathi, I always was greeted with a smile by them. I make it a point to be polite and say "please" and "thank you" and, greet them with a smile. And, generally, everyone reciprocates it. There have been flower sellers and fruit vendors, who, even in the first time I met them, have told me "agli baar paise dena" when we both couldn't find the required change; Canteen wallas who agreed to whip up a coffee and maggi even after the canteen was officially closed; dhobis who agreed to press clothes in urgency when needed, cleaning ladies reguarly talk to me, ask me if I have had lunch etc; Paani puri walas who tell me their woes about police who demand hafta and so on and so forth.

As a stark contrast to this, Taklu seems to hate the sight of pauvre moi. Even when I try to talk to him politely, he's painfully rude and extremely unhelpful. As a result, I've ended up getting a lousy room at IISc and he's unwilling to help me change. Because of which, I'm commuting daily.


And, this commuting is draining me out. Got caught in the pouring rains today. Our Bangalore roads are like golf courses, filled with pits, dunes and holes, all of which get covered by an uniform layer of drainage water when it pours. And, this always brings in tow the most horrendous traffic jams of Bangalore.

It was one such day today. Left IISc at 630 today and reached at 8 pm. Took 1.5 hrs for what usually takes 30 to 40 min. And, also got drenched and waded through sewage water. Kept myself amused in the traffic jam by coming up with innovative gaaliyan for Taklu and creative ideas to crack open his head :P. On a more serious note, the lack of interest and apathy shown towards my situation by several of the people in power, left me shaken up. I kept feeling that these people have the authority to help me but are completely disinterested and unconcerned. Why can't they empathise with me and help me out? But, it's only the wearer who knows where the shoe bites. Until and unless it strikes close to home, people can only sympathise, if they choose to. To empathise, they have to know how it feels to go through it. And, in several cases, as long as we are not directly affected by something, we cannot fathom the gravity of the problem.

Today, while shivering in the rain, I thought of the Bihar flood vicitms. I got drenched for only a short while, in spite of that I was shivering. I came home, took a hot water bath, wore warm clothes, ate hot food that amma cooked, and slept in a cozy bed with a nice thick quilt. While, those poor souls have lost everything to the floods and have become destitute. They, too, must be resenting the apathy shown by the rest of the country. Though funds might be collected, nothing can give back the people what they've lost, nor will the Govt take suitable measure to ensure it will not repeat. Coz, the Govt cannot empathise, not until it stands in the victims' shoes and sees how it feels.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

writer's blog(k) :)

I read your blog now. Wondered why, in spite of meaning to blog since several days, I could never bring myself to do it. Though I opened the web page to a new post several times, I found myself at a loss for words. And, me being at a loss for words is really weird !! :) Why was I just not feeling the need or the urge to blog?


And, why do I blog? Sometimes, it is to brag, to display my writing 'prowess' ; sometimes, it is a way to make my voice heard, to give my say about major happenings around me; sometimes, it is just to satisfy an urge write, which , at times, becomes a compulsion, where each event is gauged by it's blog-ability :)


Sometimes, it is a diary, an account of my day-to-day happenings, a witness to my life. As Susan Sarandon's character in "Shall we dance?" says - "We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."


Now, you are my living witness, my live blog and, the urge to have an electronic one has greatly gone down.



P.S. Have taken the title from the blog of an IIM-A prof. :) The title was too beautiful to let go of :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Anniversary!! :D

Yups! Today, it's One whole year since I joined IISc !!What a whirlwind year this has been, at the end of which my life has taken an entirely different course from the one I was trying to propel it on, about this time last year! And, I'm not complaining at all! Professionally and personally, I am much more happy than I could have ever imagined. Joining IISc for a PhD now. Atleast 5 more years to go. Hoping to have a good time. Registration is tomorrow.... Wow! I'm on my way to earn a Doctorate! Feels great! :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

How do you measure the height of Mt. Everest??

"How do you measure the height of Mt. Everest??", they asked me. Confidently, I set about telling them that i would use trignometry, get the angle of elevation, the distance of my view pt from the base of the mountain, and, thus, get the height. They weren't satisfied. I told them, you can measure the boiling pt ofwater, or the value of 'g', or the atmospheric pressure at the peak and, since you know how these quantities vary with height, and their values at sea level, you can get the height. But, they were not pleased. Then, they asked me if I had heard of the sextant. I said no. Then, they asked me if I could estimate the boiling point of water on top of the Everest. I told them I donot know the expression for how it varies with altitude. They asked me if I could make a rough estimate - " 30, 40, 60, 99...? What would it be?" I said - "70 - 80?? probably, 70??" The questioner looked at me and said -" Not bad. It is wrong, but not very wrong. It is important for a scientist to be able to estimate. Esp; in the kind of field you have chosen."
I came home, looked it up on the net. I guess I can start investing in the stock market now :D
P.S. While discussing with NiNa, I also estimated the boiling pt of water at Bangalore to be 95deg C and, found out it was 94.6 :D

Monday, June 23, 2008

Loss......

Today it's one year since he's gone. One whirlwind year, in which so much has happened... but, when I think of it, it feels just like yesterday that he was with us.

So much has happened last year, which would have pleased him tremendously. He would have been so proud of Akka's US trip and my Zurich trip. He would have relished the 'foreign chocolates' that we brought home. He would have earnestly prayed for the umpteen exams I took last year, and, would have been "extremely happy" at the results of some of them. He would also have been very happy that I decided to stay in India. He would have loved to meet NiNa, would have enjoyed his company, esp. his humour. He would have loved to see akka's completed home. He would have extended his love for all animals to our latest entry, Sona. He would have, as usual, asked us to photograph the brahma kamalas that bloomed this year.

The last year has been one filled with achievements and accomplishments for me. Yet, there is something lacking. An absence that cannot be filled by any human or super human effort. Maybe this is what "loss" means.



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nostalgia...






The pictures speak for themselves....... Beautiful memories, rushing back, esp. when IISc interview is hours away :P

Monday, June 9, 2008

Schindler's list


Saw Schindler's list finally yesterday. Wonderful movie. Sensitively shot, most scenes without dialogs have a greater impact on you than the lines that are spoken. And, surprisingly, Schindler is not shown to be a Saviour. His character isn't glamorized. He is shown to be an opportunistic German, who has no qualms about using the war to get cheap Jewish labour and make profits. And, the war makes an unexpected hero out of him. Superb acting by Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. Do watch, but I warn you, quite a disturbing movie!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Rough waters


Life has been smooth sailing over the last few months. Each new venture has paid off. Things have worked out much beyond expectations. Now, the road ahead is kuchha. Bumpy, unpaved. Scary. It's been said that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference. This is an untraveled road. Hopefully it will make a positive difference.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Redemption :)

Got admission to NCBS. :) Interviews went well. In fact, felt much less nervous than I thought I would be. Realised the brand value that IIT has. Also, realised that my 2 yrs at IIT have opened my mind, which the Bangalore University tried hard to clog with useless factual stuff. I can actually reason, analyse and solve unfamiliar problems now - even attempt basic math stuff without the fear that I used to have earlier. Can even bullshit with great aplomb :D Great self-esteem booster :) One should attend interviews once in a while :))

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The day of reckoning.

It is here. The D-day is tomorrow. Feel confident as long as the butterflies in my stomach don't flutter too much. Lack of appetite [when it's me saying this, it is serious :)] , clammy hands, dead weight in my tummy .. NiNa tells me I am normal [1N as he put it :P], that this amount of nervousness is but natural. But I wish it would go away. Someone silence these butterflies. Would rather have the bread-and-butterflies they talk about in 'Through the looking glass.' Guess Alice didn't have any nbd while facing the panel of cards. :P




Saturday, May 10, 2008

Survival of the fittest

Nature isn't the benevolent loving motherly figure that it is made out to be. Nature is harsh, ever changing and never predictable. It keeps throwing challenges at the creatures who inhabit it. So, there is a constant struggle for existence. Only the fittest survive. By the fittest, I do not refer to the one with the most potential or the one with superiority. Dinosaurs were big, superior and powerful. But, they were wiped out. Roaches and bugs survived - through millions of years. By their sheer ability to adapt.

Adapt. That is the key word. The ability to adjust to Change that is constantly occurring in Nature. And, this theory of Darwin isn't limited only to classical Evolution as it is studied. It applies to us, to our everyday lives as well.

More often than not, it so happens that things do not go according to our plans. Murphy rules and all that could possibly go wrong, will. In this kind of a 'race' which is unfair, where some are having it easy only because they haven't had obstacles in their path; it is but natural that the guy doing the hurdles race gets disheartened. But, in this kind of a hostile environment, the true survivor is the one who can adapt to this situation the soonest. Who can take in his stride the situation he is in and try to make the most of it. Who can control his mind and not brood over what went by but focus on what lies ahead.

And, as Martina Navratilova said, "The moment of success is too brief to live for it and it alone".
Life is long and, in the long run, it always evens out.

I know this might be a little preachy, and, is surely easier said than done, but I have my reasons for putting it up.

The dance of democracy.


Voted in the Karnataka assembly elections. Voted for the least crooked among crooks :) Not that it would make a huge difference, or that that my vote would tip the scales, but, this is my contribution to the remnants of democracy operating in this country. As Helen Keller said -

"I am only one, but still I am One.

I can't do everything, but still , I can do Something,
And, I will not refuse to do the something that I can."

Must say the indelible ink mark looks a lot like the SDS PAGE staining soln. Must see if I can remove it with destain. :) Ah! The inquisitive mind of a scientist :D

Friday, May 9, 2008

Summer snapshots.

Summer. A week filled with exams, the last day the toughest to get through, then - FREEDOM!!! Bags packed, a night's journey by bus - with ghat sections that looked menacing at nights; filled with snakes waiting to jump on to the bus from the trees and slither down through my window [I firmly believed they would till I was nearly 12 :)] ; and, then, Heaven!!! Long idyllic days spent with cousins; playing, fighting, driving imaginary buses to the tunes of songs from the latest Bollywood flick on the swing in the maaLi [room in the roof], mangoes, jackfruits, beaches, charmbura upkari, local colas and orange drinks, weddings, munjis, a trip to Udipi and Uppoond, both taken up with enthusiasm proportional to the size of the crowd that went, a visit to the Krishna math, ensured by the bribe of going to Hotel Diana and eating gudbud , the ice cream from Annayya's, kittens, calves, half-ripe guavas and ice candies for quarter annas; khambada aata, bluff, gaddava; Aanegudde and Hattiangadi - where the temples were only an excuse, Pepsis, sugar cane juice and Erola dolo [still unable to find what it is called in English :)], Kaju fruit, walks of 4 kms in the sun and crazy auto drivers; ghost stories made up during narration, some even enacted; plans of putting up a big show for the Elders and practice for the same - the fact that it never materialized didn't matter. In fact, most things didn't matter. Fights were much less complex and mostly binary, Feelings were more open. Adults were complex creatures from whom we remained, thankfully, aloof. Life was simple and beautiful.

Summer. Taste of first freedom. First time away from home. Hostel life. Room mate. Friends. Fun. Crushes. Disappointments and elations. A decision to move away from home.

Summer. A first hand experience of the 'judaai' that poets form Kaalidasa to Gulzaar and Javed Akhtar pen about. First realizations of the frustrations that my career holds. Heart ache. Confusions.

Summer. Parting - from the place that gave me so much. Pain of realising that the best time of my student life is probably over. That my best friend was going to be miles away and all the late night gappe would have to be only on phone from now on. On the verge of a break up - or, maybe it was already over and I was refusing to believe it. Struggle to readjust to home life. To get accustomed to my family. Illness. Death. Denial. Pain.

Summer. Fresh hope. Uncertainties but a few certainties too. Career decisions. Personal milestones. A search for my priorities and an attempt to decide what I really want.
The comfort offered by the cocoon of love of my dear ones. The calm confidence that I can face challenges without collapsing. A silent longing for those good old idyllic summer days, but, the sense of loss of childhood made up for by the realisation that I have grown. Into a person I rather like. The joy now is not because of the ignorance of childhood, but by the mindset of choosing to be positive and happy no matter what Life brings.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Perspective.

Is it Sunrise or is it Sunset? Dawn and dusk are simultaneous, just geographically separated.
Success is failure packaged differently.
That which is ugly for one may be beautiful for another.
That which is wealth for one might be a pittance for another.
Fat-thin, Rich-poor, Tall-short, Bright-dull - nothing is absolute. Nothing is defined. That which defines it is our point of view.
Life is beautiful when you look at it from a positive perspective.

photo taken by yours truly at the stone quarry near JNC, Jakkur, Bangalore in the May of 2006.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The importance of forgetting

Read a lovely article in the National Geographic [Nov 2007] on "Memory - How we remember and how we forget" . Contemplating over a very insightful statement from the same. That, our memory is shaped by not what we remember, but what we forget. It is important to be able to forget, so that we archive only those details that are relevant to us. People with astonishingly good memories, cannot prioritize. They cannot heal as well. It is said Time is the best healer, but, while for most people, the memories of the sad incidents dim with time and the pain lessens, for people with remarkable memories, this isn't so. They find themselves remembering all details of the incident - and, even the pain they felt at that time. Most people remember that that incident caused them pain but might not be able to recall and relive the exact extent of pain. This helps to heal. Over the years, the mind glosses over things, stores it's own version of the incident than the actual occurrences themselves. This is important to the moving on process.

Another article in the Times also spoke about how our body is adapted to withstand emotional shocks such as breakups. While we are deeply in Love with a person, we imagine that it would be disastrous if the relation went sour and that we would be devastated at the thought of not having the person in our lives. But, the human body is wonderfully resilient. During a breakup, various defense mechanisms kick in and, subconsciously, we prepare ourselves for overcoming it. The Mind, instead of thinking tender thoughts about that person, now focuses on their draw backs. His / Her little habits which would slightly annoy you earlier start assuming prime importance and generate irritation against that person in your mind. You start wondering about why it is much better that you are without them than with them, and, in a while believe in this fact. So, your sub-conscious aids in the conscious efforts that you would be making to get over your heart break!!

Nice ideas to ponder over :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Zone of comfort

Wake up at 8 am, have breaker with parents, then off to Insti. Work in lab. Actually, enjoyable [though I crib about it :D That is just exercise of my rights :D] . Nice friends. Chai, crossword, lunch, gappe - aur inke beech mein thoda kaam. Hang out with NiNa. Then, back home by 9. Watch a kannada serial with parents. A weird way of family bonding. :D Then, dinner with parents, giving them an account of my day. A relaxed life. More like an existence. Very comfortable. It is said, that only when there is discomfort, a need for change arises and this leads to inventions and discovery. No "purpose" or "drive" in this comfortable existence. I know, in a while I would be bugged by this. I would start needing a reason, a cause , look for additional things to do, hate the lack of focus, lament that I am not functioning to my full capacity or tapping my potential. But, right now, that is not the case :D So, while I can, I am loving it :D

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sunday, April 6, 2008

what women want!


Isn't it so right?? :D

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The problem of choice

The question is how much choice should a person have? Having no choice and being forced into a decision is bad.. but, having too many choices, all attractive in their own way, but all mutually exclusive, is worse. You end up cursing yourself when things go wrong, as they surely will, after choosing one thing. Blah!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lost gold.


March 28th - usually, a time of celebration - cake, greeting cards and masala dosa. I wasn't around for the last two years, and, this year, the birthday boy himself wasn't. I miss him. I miss his unconditional love - the selfless giving, without expecting anything in return. I miss his presence in the home, on his chair, reclining on the sofa, watching the TV with me, eating dinner in his own sloppy way, which would irritate me back then. His silly jokes - I must have inherited my love for PJs from him , his singing, his meal-time stories, his little habits and quirks . I miss his hands - gnarled - and his writing - small and neat, in all those letters he wrote to me while I was in hostel. I miss resting my head on his pot belly and cuddling up to him. I miss him saying "Good night, sleep well, sweet dreams , sweet Chetana" in the sing song ritual that we used to have. I wish I could take back some of the harsh words that I had said to him, and give him one tight hug and tell him I love him. Funny how you sometimes get what you wished for and realise you never wanted it. Funny how you sometimes lose something you have always taken for granted and then, realise how priceless it was. Some losses are just nonrecoverable .

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Life is not what it seems!


The picture explains itself!

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Unis conspire to keep me out !!

No. applied to - 7
Rejects - 4
Unfortunate miss - many a slip between the mail and the eye - 1

So, 5 down, 2 to go.

I propose, US disposes....

When you are contemplating not to go to the US, the Unis conspire to keep you out :P

[P.S. writing style a` la NiNa :D . A change from the "mush" as the Sid baab puts it :P]

Friday, March 21, 2008

Time to change


Most people are averse to change - something like the caterpillar in the above picture. I am no exception to this. If things are going smoothly and life is quite comfortable, I find myself dreading the time when status quo will be upset. I prefer to live in my little cocoon, trying to shield myself from change. But, change is inevitable. As Ram would always say, 'The only thing constant in Life is Change". And, change is good. Change - and the need for it - results in inventions, developments and thus, progress. If we extrapolate Darwin's theory to day-to-day life, we see that the Nature is dynamic, forever changing. The changing climate puts a selection pressure on us, living organisms. So, the victors in this struggle for existence are those that can adapt quickly and aptly to the changing environment. So, the ability to at least accept, if not appreciate, change is the key to success. So, it is time to change and start liking Change :)

Well, it is known that Variety is the spice of Life, and, who wouldn't want to spice up their Life?? :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A perfect 10

They say a perfect figure is the best way to attract a man's attention. True, those lovely figures always grab your attention, even making me jealous. It is not the long leggy ones I am talking about. These are the 6-digit and 7-digit ones. Don't get swayed by these big numbers, dear. I may not have a perfect figure but, together, we are as close to a perfect 10 as we can get.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Learning to fly

Our conversation goes along familiar lines - you excited about going out and making it big in the world, me trying to share your enthusiasm, but more concerned about what this will mean to "us". At one point, I tell you - 'I think I am not the person for you. You want to fly in the vast sky and explore. I want to build a nest. At times, I feel I am shackling you, not letting you fly. I hate that.' You ask me if I had heard of Icarus.
'Yeah, wasn't he the one who tried to fly with wings fashioned from wax and feathers?'
'Yes. He flew so high that the sun melted the wings and he fell down to his death. You are the person I need. You will keep my feet firmly grounded".
I have no words left. Somehow, you seem to know the right words to say to me.




Sunday, March 9, 2008

A toast to the world's greatest roller coaster ride!

"Wheeeeee!!!" "Aaaaa....... " How many of us haven't been on a roller coaster ride? The ones where you pay money to get scared out of your wits and undergo premature greying? The sudden rises, rapid falls, sharp bends, the stretches where you are hanging upside down, feeling your colon between your molars, panicking - yet, somewhere, secure in the knowledge that you have a safety harness, that hundreds go on these rides daily and come out safe. But what about the roller coaster ride called Life? The scariest ride, made more scary by the fact that you have no safety harness, that one unfortunate slip could just take you out of the ride forever?

Lot of my dear ones seem to be going through the downs of late. For some, it looks like Murphy has taken over their life and seems to be dictating it. Singles facing companionship blues, people in relations suffering from commitment issues and insecurities, married people spending their precious time in fighting. Add to this some amount of ill health, career worries and old age fears. Sometimes, I echo what Agent Smith said in Matrix Revolutions. -
Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something? For more that your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Yes? No? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself, although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can't win. It's pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?"

And, I wonder.. Why do we persist? Why keep trying to get a so-called good life. Struggle through school, college, then jobs? Try to get a good career, then yearn for a partner, then yearn for time, struggle for a work-life balance, keep trying to reach milestones, go through all the frustration for a few snatched moments of happiness? And, my answer is the same as Neo's -
"Because we choose to."

But,
this logic seems real only when we are on a high. While in the pits, the philosophy doesn't really appeal. During such times, I remember what Vaibhav said once - "I guess the total amount of happiness and sorrow in this world is a constant. So, for someone to be happy, at a given point of time, someone has to be in the dumps." Makes sense, in a weird kind of way.

So, when blue, I just tell myself to hang in there. It is going to be my turn for some happiness soon. Till then, if bugged, just say - "Go die, squishy vegetable!!!"

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Biology - a beautiful science!

NiNa and I have this ever on-going argument about the so-called factual nature of biology. [Well, it is ongoing coz I think he gets his kicks out of seeing me flare up each time he brings up the topic :) But that's another story.] He, once, even committed the sacrilege of comparing biology with social sciences and said that biology did not classify to be called a science.

I feel sorry for people who cannot see the beauty of biology as a science. What can be more fascinating than seeing Life around you and learning more about the same. Classical biology began with this urge to look at, appreciate and then, name and classify all that we see around us in nature. As the means of observation improved, the data collected became enormous and, at times, tedious to learn and memorise in entirety. But, this was a flaw in the manner in which biology was being taught rather than in the science. In fact, some facts are needed. Else, how can a medico recognise useful herbs from similar looking harmful weeds? How can a doctor identify and operate specifically on that one little artery that decides to get clogged? Facts are needed. They are the foundation on which new research is conducted. The problem, thus, is not with facts but with the memorization of the same.

Current research in biology has expanded well beyond the classical realms. While, a non-biologist stops learning biology right at 10th or 12th level, a modern day biologist - be it a biochemist, a molecular biologist or a biophysicist - needs to learn and understand well the basics of maths [statistics, calculus, matrices etc], physics [esp, thermodynamics, spectroscopic and microscopic techniques] as well as chemistry [organic chemistry, rate kinetics, etc] . Biology now applies all of these to biomolecules, and also to whole cells and tries to understand their functioning. While dealing with the regular problems - of collecting data, plotting it, analysing it - the biologists have to take additional care as their samples are living cells, that are affected by minute changes in growth medium and temperature, hence likely to be the cause of error. They should also take care to see their cells should not die. While physicists and chemists study behaviour of gases or molecules in isolation, biologists do the same, but within a complex system such as a living cell, where hundreds of metabolic pathways operate simultaneously, and pathways of uptake, utilisation and degradation of the molecule are many and intertwined, where the variables are several.

In spite of the complex and awe inspiring nature of biology, the "tech" people have a way of looking down upon it. What amazes me is the fact that these people are so blind so as to not see that several great biologists are people who started off as chemists or physicists, who later were exposed to and were taken up by the beautiful science that biology involves and switched fields. The statement that biologists are "muggus" and are people who are poor at science is probably a dictum taught to engineers along with their Math 101. The following cartoon I found at this wonderful site sums it all.



Just replace the girl with a biologist. And, you get the attitude these 'exalted' beings have towards biology. I sometimes feel sorry for these people who lost a chance to look into this wonderful miracle called Life and try and decipher how it works. I pity them and leave them to work with their non living chemicals and machines, in which the most exciting thing would be to find out a new reaction or a new method of solving an equation - which is something the biologist does regularly and more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sen-fall

Humpty Dumpty sat on street Dalal,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the economists and all the tradesmen,
Could not put Humpty Dumpty together again!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Line maaro :)

Found these cool one-liners on Abhishek's blog so, (without his permission), am reproducing them here. Enjaai maaDi :)

1. "I like being single.I'm always there whn I need me "

2. Work is the curse of the drinking classes. - Oscar Wilde

3. Failure is not the only punishment for laziness; there is also the success of others. - Jules Renard

4. The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

5. Men who dont understand women, always fall into two categories....bachelors and husbands!!!!"

6. Laws of Progeny performance:

a. Any child who chatters non-stop at home will adamantly refuse to utter a word when asked to demonstrate for an audience.
b. Any shy, introverted child will choose a crowded public area to loudly demonstrate newly acquired vocabulary.

7. "Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it."

8. Never raise your hand to your children - it leaves your midsection unprotected

9. Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.

10. When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. - PJ O'Rourke

11. We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true. - Robert Wilensky

12. We make our own fortunes and call them fate.

13.
We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

14. We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

15. If your parents never had children, chances are you won't, either - it's hereditary.

16. Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it

17. When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick

18. It's not the fall that kills you. It's the sudden stop at the end.

19. If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you'll have trouble putting on your pants.

20. War doesn't determine who's right. War determines who's left!

21. A conscience does not prevent sin. It only prevents you from enjoying it

22. By the time you understand your dad was right, you already have a son who thinks you are wrong.

23.
Everyone has a photographic memory.Some just do not have film

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Land of Dreams

He speaks of his home, of the place he was born. She loves watching him as he does that, the way his eyes shine, the way his face glows. He tells her, "Come with me. Lets go Home". She hesitates, wondering about how she could manage it, about all the people she's answerable to. He says again, "Come, lets go Home" and, there's something in him which brings out her reckless side. She agrees. Together they fly, over the hills and the plains. She's seen it all before, but, everything takes a new shade as she sees it with him. As they marvel at the wondrous sights he tells her that his home town is more beautiful than all that they are seeing. And, she believes him. Of late, she's learnt to believe and trust again. To Love and let herself be loved.

Up in the skies they are like children. They have left behind the worries of the world below. They laugh, they giggle, they dream, they hope. As they near their destination, he tells her that there are going to be several more such journeys and much more joy ahead waiting for them. And she believes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

2007 went by and 2008 has arrived! :) I remember welcoming 2007 ... party at Bioschool, for which half the junta did not show up, disappointing Hemanshu who had organised the bash! So much has changed in the past year... illness, death, breakups, partings.. by the middle of the year, I was feeling that this was one of those 'bad' years, where things keep going wrong. The kind of year that goes down in our memory for all the wrong reasons. But, in the last couple of months, things have started to look up again. A new Hope has sprung up, the Smile has found reason to return without being forced...Life looks up! And, it is on this upward note that I welcome 2008. Hope the coming year holds joys galore for everyone, challenges to be accepted and won, obstacles that are surmounted, goals that are reached and dreams that are realised. :)

Continuing on the lines of my previous post, here are some lines uttered by one of the wisest animals [whose identity I have, therefore, assumed on this blog :) ] from a favourite book of mine :

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" - Alice.
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cheshire Cat.
"I don't much care where –" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"– so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
- Lewis Carroll [Alice in Wonderland].