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."

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.