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Life Alone

It's nearly her silver wedding anniversary with my dad
Since the time she stepped in home - a strange place for a little girl
Flipping past her, all desires to make music her world

She slogged day and night to keep her new home
Happy and the people satiated with her novel recipes
And to work she succumbed just to keep the budget at ease

Soon, a little mischievous newcomer - a gift from God, added to her life
Some joy but a lot of worry and pain
A whole lot of responsibilities put her mind on strain

And as her little lady grew up, worries doubled
All pain she patiently bore
Just to bless her daughter with the best in her career and so much more

She continues to strive to give her the best
And the rest to their little family - a true physic
Finally also finding time to catch up with her first love - Music

Mom, I call her, a blessing in disguise
I miss you so much being oceans apart
Truly you are irreplaceable and I feel it more now that I have a lonely start.

Vitamin M

Okay, its not folic acid that this post is about but a more essential vitamin that none of us can exist without, that human beings alone need and a vitamin that has acquired identity only recently in evolutionary history.

Being a resident of a European nation, I have begun to realise the face value of a Euro a lot more than I ever considered tossing a 1-Rupee coin into the plate of a poor man at the roadside. When I first travelled to the UK, I was amazed to see items priced as low as 2 and 3 GBP. By a casual gesture I would flip into my basket, nearly all that I found pretty and arrive at the cash desk with a sum of around a 100 GBP - a figure that I never really cared to multiply by 86 to realise what a spendthrift I have been. It was not long before I caught up with the habit of converting to INR and getting hold of my expenses that I was given the privilege to move to another country where the currency value is a little lower - the Euro.

It has been really difficult to control my expenses despite constant reminders from my friends that a 20 Euro pair of flip-flops can be really really expensive. I would rather recklessly toss in the 1-cent from the cashier (the remainder from the billed 19.99 Euro) and not really bother to pop it into my piggy bank when I'm home. Saving 50 Euros for a birthday gift was common.

All until I realized the face value of the currency. 1 Euro is definitely not equivalent to 1 Rupee even for a localite. The average salary of an upper middle class employee is about 3000 Euros per month, the same figure in Rupees is definitely not the average salary of the employees from an IT software company in Bangalore. Neither is 1 kg rice 1 Rupee and 29 Paise nor is Ipod Classic 230 Rupees. Soon after I realized the grave mistake that I have been doing, I was in a hot debate about gifts with my labmate, a localite. As we spoke she ridiculed my attitude towards money and my heavy budget for a birthday treat with a simple statement, "Well, last year I planned to gift a ticket to the Opera to Pat (her husband), but I later gave up the idea. It was way too expensive. 58 Euros per person!!" And that shut my breath.

And here I am a lot more responsible in handling the European currency. Well I finally realized today it is worth about 68.8 INR. I have even subscribed to the daily currency update to constantly remind me of what a "squanderer" I have been!

Nano about Neuro: Striking Together


"Applied Sciences" have become the buzz words among scientists-in-the-making today. Cheminformatics, pharmacogenomics, physioarithmetic (dont know if it exists) and many such integrative Sciences open newer portals for research prospects. As a neurogeneticist (in the making!), I wondered how it would be to integrate the nascent Nano-industry with my field of interest. Afterall, there's so much in common!

Nano: a tiny scale of 10^-9m...viz. one-billionth of a meter.
Neuro: a nerve cell body is usually about the same size.

Nano: charged particle deposition is central and this is used in a variety of applications viz. to create a surface of nano-dots.
Neuro: charged particle deposition on the next neuron (called the post-synaptic neuron) in a successive series of neurons (the neuronal network) can excite the former and create a depolarized surface.

Nano: polymerizes to nano-fibers
Neuro: axons are the fibers

Nano: application of an electric field to fluid droplets containing nanoparticles distorts the angle of the droplets potentiating the use of nano-fluids in fine-tuning focusing lenses in cameras.
Neuro: an electric impulse from the optic nerve applied onto the brain enables perception of an image caught on the retina, the principle behind the human camera.

Nano: applied best in the electrical and electronic industry
Neuro: ofcourse, its all about electrical circuitry in the body!

With so much in common, I guess its time we founded nano-neurotechnology, a field that deals with the application of nano-particles in brain repair and neuronal injury. Infact, there is already some evidence of its existence. The picture (courtesy: http://neuronano.net) shows neurons grown on a layer of carbon nanotubes, a substrate that is so much analogous to the biological extra-cellular matrix and can enable survival of neurons on it. Does a neuron's electrical conductivity respond to cues from a conductive substrate? That's a clue to the technology.

Vanity: truly detested

Never forget how you have come to be what you are. Well, this is an annoying feature in the present era...vanity, pomposity, foolishness! Yeah, I am being very caustic on this issue because I have been victimized to "vanity" shows in every other co-cultural meet in this foreign land. Well yes, we are in India no more. We are the privileged lot given that extra avenue to be ourself sans restrictions from the conventional Indian society. But its so unnatural that women, more often than men, seem to lose their identity in pretending to be a 'super'natural being adorning themselves with the skimpiest clothes (point to note: on a wrong weather condition; totally unsuited for the occasion and many times for the woman herself and clothes which when made 10 times as long would still be considered 'insufficient' by her family), beauty accessories with an unfamiliar spelling (and sometimes even the name), a hair-do which in a few months can malnourish the 20-30-year long well-groomed blackness (beauty trials on fine hair can never be made with recipes for coarse hair), fluenting a language that's way beyond an American's understanding. Well, its hard to describe how it works with men in vanity. But what is vexatious is why they hide their identity when it comes to meeting others of the same tribe and don on a self that's so alien. I am sure they are not enjoying it...it would be a lot of dramaticism, a lot of enacting and a lot of effort to get it rolling - the artifical self. And to talk about snobs?! I know nothing can be done about it...it probably would get worse but its annoying for those few people around who still walk sticking to the convention "Be a Roman when in Rome" and yet hold on to their identity - the only definition of me and you.

Well, its all in your thinking.

P.S. Vanity is not nationality-defined.

Miracles Happen



Cant stop but raise a brow when you realize that at times, Life indeed is rewarding! Unfulfilled dreams, expectations of a quarter of a lifetime, uncertainities, misfortunes, ill-luck and criticisms...they never last more than a tiny phase of life. And there's one moment - a moment when you dont realise its live and real, a moment that many times goes unnoticed in the want of pursuing the future behind it - when everything's just fine. Just the way you wanted life to treat you. And you have all that you deserve. Its that great moment that I have nearly come to, after a long long wait - infact, it was not a wait - I was nearly getting to be satisfied with the turn of life. Getting a little tired of trying and tired of hoping for the best in a career. It was nearly the last lap, and I bet if I had missed this one, I would have never stopped to think that I lost something invaluable. I had lapsed into this sense of feeling that you get after a tiresome day when you are so paralyzed by work that you hit the sac without a grain for your appetite, when all you work for is to feed that little piece of flesh in your body! It is a feeling of satisfaction that you are forced to perceive with all the discontentments buried in the back of your mind...when nothing has worked the way you had wanted it to. This was my stand a little while ago. But for that last lap I mentioned. A casual gesture changed my life. Just out of practise, I continued trying...may be it was the last try. A last call for getting the best. It was the same way I tried as I had many many times before, all of which had ended in vain. This try was no different until it rewarded me a career of a lifetime. And here I am blessed with what I wanted where I wanted to be, and however I wanted life to treat me, I got it all. Was it a blessing that was a result of God's slow response to my deepest prayers? Was it an illusion that it was indeed destined to happen and I never realised? Was it a miracle? Or was it a reward of persistent tries???

No matter of what it was a result, I cannot stop but say, "things definitely do happen the way you want them to...cuz only when things have to go wrong they go wrong; there are moments when all things go right and perfectly as planned! That's a summary of Murphy's and Newton's (Third) Laws!"

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