Saturday, September 30, 2006

You cannot touch but you can look?

"This blogger" makes his point about why BNP is not being helpful to either men or women with it's stand on "looking". The truth is, several aspects of "eve-teasing" are extremely intangible. So it seems like while a grope or a physical act warrants reaction, and can also be condemned lawfully, one cannot complain against "looking" because that is the fundamental right of the man. We have several rights. We also have responsibilities. And have to follow certain social norms and basics of respecting fellow human beings in a society. It's just sad that the issue of respecting a woman seems to have no bearing in the average street-life in India. Everyone who's been "looked at" in a perverted way knows what "looking" BNP refers to when they say "no looking". It is not the ordinary harmless "looking" that all the pious saints will claim to do, and hence feel uncomfortable by this campaign. Who's to decide or differentiate what "look" is okay and what's not? I don't know, indeed , the lines blur there, and perhaps that's why there' s no law against "looking". But the way I see it, BNP is protesting against the kind of "looking" that is derogatory, offensive and I stand by the fact that "looks" alone can harass or demean. There's no other way for me to explain that, unfortunately.

Why let the look offend you, you say? "Are you that weak?" I don't see why a woman's self-esteem is being blamed for her reaction to eve-teasing to start with. An individual's self-esteem is not the business of a complete stranger who has nothing to do with the individual. So a self-assured woman may walk away unaffected by it, but that doesn't stop the pervert. He is still continuing to be a nuisance, if not to this woman, to the next. Oftentimes, the harassment doesn't end there either. So every woman should be as self-assured and as capable of being unaffected by these perverts? While that would be ideal, yes, is every man self-assured and self-confident? (No, staring at girls walking down the street does not make a confident man). Then WHY do women- self-assured or not, have to struggle or put up with this, or have to invest effort in bearing / ignoring/giving it back to eve-teasers??

While I agree with several points jyothsnay made in her comments @ retributions, women have to take on assault confidently. assertively, and humiliate the pervert the best they can, my question is WHY do we have to deal with this to start with? Because it is there? So lets just deal with it? NO. When are men going to learn not to objectify women? "Eve-teasing" has been going on for eons, yes. That doesn't make it excusable in any way. Which is why BNP's attempt to make the public realise that they cannot get away with misbehaving is commendable. Are they being extreme? Are some of their points a little overboard? Perhaps yes. I don't blindly agree with all that they profess either. I am not an advocate of blind "militant feminism" myself and I don't think the BNP is about that. And no, I don't think this is a "them" versus "us" fight, nor do I interpret that from BNP's campaign. But I am not going to harp on what I find objectionable about BNP. Because I choose to reserve my outrage for the fact that in this day and age, it is still thought that "men will tease, we have to deal with it smartly".

BNP's campaign against "looking" is not all they have to their credit. They are making resources available, actually discussing and taking to the streets an issue that has for long been put away as "hota hai" and so I find BNP an empowering initiative. It's an effort to revolt against men who think eve-teasing is their birthright. Please realise, they are fighting an attitude, a culture, deeply ingrained in the psyche of the common man on the street in India. From what I see, I don't think they are advocating a weak stance either. Stare back, fight back, and then also educate, make people aware. This fight has arisen out of a lot of frustration at having to expend energy to deal with sexual harassment, in whatever way each one might have chosen to deal with it. When no external source of help- the law, the police, or even the general public has come to the rescue of a victim of sexual harassment. I sure hope that BNP doesn't die down and fade away.

Yes, women must stand up to the lechers and fight back. But that is not enough. Uncivilized behaviour has got to stop. It is unacceptable. If men turned their backs and went back to doing it when they were told before, they need to be told again. and again. in every way possible. Until they get it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

"You're only as good as your next paper"

We had a different kind of seminar today. Once a week, we have an invited speaker from outside who gives a talk on his/her research. Today we had a "motivational speaker" types. It's almost worrisome, that we need these talks now. :) Nothing new was said, but the reinforcement was useful. Good timing for me too, especially since the jade from starting my sixth year is beginning to set in, and I'm beginning to embark on the post-doc hunt too.

Vishesh tippani from babaji's talk.

What should motivate a scientist? Love of the process of finding out. Not so much the ends or the results, but the means.

You cannot prove anything. All it takes is a single experiment to prove you wrong. You can only find the truth to the best extent you can.

As a graduate student:

Interdisciplinary is the way to go.
Make the best of your environs. If you're in a lab with the sexiest microscope and imaging facility, take your project there.
Read widely, not always necessarily deeply. (To gain breadth)
If you're really keen on doing an experiment, DO IT.
Think out of the box. Ask of your data "What is the most interesting thing this could mean?"
Don't be afraid. Have the self confidence that you could've indeed stumbled upon the answer that many were trying to get at. (He in fact mentioned that women are bad at this)
Learn the history of your science.
It's ok to get side-tracked. But don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Think quantitatively.
Be a control freak. :-) (As in designing controls for experiments)
Honour the scientific method, always.
Keep a good notebook. Should have all the information needed to repeat the experiment.
Develop a thick skin. Take criticism constructively. Nothing's personal.
Speak up when you have to. Our mission is to find the truth, not to be nice or to honour elders.
Always LOOK at the cells. (Sigh, indeed! The cells, they tell you so much)


Think for yourself. Write for yourself. OWN your project. Be the world's best expert on it.
The Boss is not always right. (hah! this i know ;) )And will often be happy to be proven wrong.
When you find yourself disagreeing with the boss, you're ready to graduate. (Excuuuz me??? ;) )
Pick a project where you can learn as many techniques as possible.
Each time you perform an experiment, you should be thinking about improving every step for the next time you do it.
Base conclusions on multiple experiments.
Don't be blinded by the statistics. The statistics are only as good as the assumptions they rely on.
Force yourself to write down observations, especially of the failed experiments. Do not forget the unexplained results! (This is so important!)
Speak up! Ask questions at talks.
Grab every opportunity to present your work to an outside audience. (very important, especially when it comes to the post-doc hunt)

Do not prolong your Ph.D. :(
Take responsibility for yourself. Have a plan for the next five years.


Post doc hunt:

Don't sell yourself short. Salaries are negotiable. Play the game. Post-docs are among the most exploited class of workers anyway. (hah!)

Must interview prospective lab. Talk to students/employees. Track back ex-members of the lab and speak to them.

Does the P.I help his people? (Outside of lab). Will he let you take projects with you when you leave?

Choose wisely. Cannot go wrong in picking a lab for your post-doc, after being in the system for five plus years.

If you have to do two post-docs, switch after two years at the first one.

Try getting outside fellowships for post-doc work.

Work hard. If you want to become a P.I, it's an uphill climb.

You don't have to end up as a P.I to be successful in science.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Crying over split milk

**UPDATE**: I am doing a lot better, people, sorry for the morose post. (quite embarrassed I am now). :) No, I didn't solve all my problems, I just went and bought a fresh can of milk and made some chai again.
It's a beautiful Sunday, tomorrow is monday, sulkfest has ended automatically.
***********

Sappy post warning. apologies in advance

Weekend blues are not uncommon..especially when stress levels peak or deadlines near. Other times, they descend when I have everything going for me. Perhaps just because I have all those happy moments, but I miss the ones I'd love to share them with the most.

And then I've exhausted every idea in my book- cleaning/cooking/music/going out/reading/working. Nothing appeals. Made a distress-call to a friend that never fails to cheer me up. Didn't work. But I had made my sadness so obvious, that I knew I would get more "are you okay?" calls. So I turned off the phone and threw it. Now I'm too miserable to even reach down behind the bed and retrieve it! :-)

I hate the uncertainty that lies ahead of me right now. I hate how so many decisions are linked to each other. And I hate how , if given my way, I'd follow one path, but my whole philosophy of "keeping my parents happy" is interfering with plans that should rightfully be my own. Sometimes I wonder if i'm just choosing the path of least resistance because I'm not brave enough to revolt or because I really care about not disappointing them.

I hate that all my friends have left town and gone before me! I hate that the one person who's hugs made everything go away has gone away. The one voice that set things right is no longer an option. I hate that I let myself miss them all so much, when I promised myself I wouldn't.

I hate it when all I want is my cup of tea with adrak, elaichi and milk. But the stupid can of spoilt milk has other plans and decides to ruin my cup. Right there, it was the beginning of a day going horribly wrong.

Tomorrow will be another day, and these feelings will be displaced by then, I'm sure. For now, I just needed to vent.

Thank-you for listening, no discuss!

Sigh

This got me all teary-eyed. Rekindling all those memories I thought I had successfully put away.

Yes, the sound of shutters of shops opening early morning!

Ah yes, the doodhwaala's clanging cans on his cycle..

The yelling bus conducter! "Pudhe chala pudhe chala!" :)

The honking.

The swearing in chaste marathi.

The cat fights in the ladies' compartment.

The accomodation for a "Fourth seat" on a three-seater bench. :)

"booking" seats well in advance- all accomplished by mere gestures and hand-movements.


Siiiigh. All those sounds, sights and smells...

I want to go home! now! :( :( :(

Two things my life lacks

1) A GOOGLE search button
So that next time I'm hyperventilating about "losing" my passport or ATM card or keys, it will jump to my rescue. It should be fairly simple, really.Every time I perform the action of picking up something and putting it somewhere, a little chip in my head should record item name and location and file it away in this giant database. Each item goes by it's common name as the key. Perhaps we can even grade items- from trivial to crucial, so that it records the last ten locations of crucial items, and only last location of trivial items. See! Easy it is.

2) An IGNORE button
So that next time someone is irritating the hell out of me in real life, instead of working myself up to want to punch said person or scream obscenities (yes, i gave up on emailing obscenities) I can coolly push ignore. And carry on humming my favourite song. Preferably, this button should miraculously take form on irritating person's forehead, as soon as my BP is reaching certain levels. How cool it would be! ahahahahah! love the very idea!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

There's a censor in my e-mail!

While exchanging emails with a friend this morning, in which I was bestowing him with some choice adjectives, entirely well-deserved, I might add, I had to spell them out for full effect. Hit send, and this happened:


YOUR MESSAGE MAY CAUSE OFFENSE

Your message to abc@xyz.edu regarding "the war is on" has language highly likely to be found offensive.


Followed by the "offensive" text labelled in red, and two buttons:

Cancel? Send Anyway?


What the hell? And this from a program that lets in all those viagra, hot dates and stocks falling/rising spam.

Give me back my notepad, pen and stamped envelopes please, thank-you.

In the meantime, who knows of a good email client for macs? I am dumping Eudora. She is ruining my spontaneity.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

More lessons learnt

I have had a small victory today. A seven month long saga seems to be finally finding closure. I hope so, atleast. Details of the saga are beyond the scope of this public journal, but suffice to say a happy ending is in sight and that point alone I think is worth sharing. Also more platitudes that I can now vouch for from experience.

1) However hopeless the situation seems, never give up. Really! Things turn around, if sufficiently goaded. Keep the faith, keep on fighting, and you will eventually reach a point when you can look back and see how far you've come, and feel proud of it.

2) Ask for help. I have always been terribly independent-minded and reluctant to seek help easily. I learnt to tweak this trait in my professional life, after a lot of time lost to trouble-shooting experiments or being stuck at points that I could've overcome if only I'd looked up and asked. Personally, I continued to be loath to reaching out for help. But no amount of lone crusading or screaming from rooftops would've helped our cause here if it were done without rallying support from relevant, more powerful people. I would've never known about resources that existed, or received the assistance I got to bring things to a good place today, if I hadn't asked. Indeed, the hesitation to ask, and bull-headedness to solve things by oneself without reaching out is a bit egocentric. Sometimes, you need to simply get up and ask, politely. And you will be surprised to find help from the most unexpected quarters.

3) Be organised. If you're ever faced with the situation of dealing with someone else's affairs, you cannot do it if you thrive in chaos yourself. Living alone spoils you in many ways, and shouldering another person's responsibility is a good reality check in life.

I am very happy today!

Update: Sorry to create this air of suspense. The post has nothing to do with my Ph.D (which is a 5 year saga still going strong! ;) ) but another, equally occupying (if at all there can be) personal struggle that was on for the past many months. :-) (otherwise you will all end up being like the bus folks, asking me, "when are you finishing??" ) {siigh} :) j/k

Sunday, September 17, 2006

On prejudices

We all have them, some we proclaim, unabashedly, some we prefer to sweep under the carpet and some we don't even know exist. And then we come face to face with some, after having unknowingly upheld them for the longest time.

Interesting story.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Statcounter funnies

** This is an old post- reposted in order to complete gauravonomic's tag. Sorry, nobody googles and lands on my blog anymore, so I thought I'll put this up as a filler. OK?**


1) Google search item: "I hate writing my Ph.D thesis",

2) Google search item: "dream of being chased by a duck".

HAHAHHAHAHHAHHA all I can say is, you've come to right place, people! :-)

This is my sorry excuse for a post. no blogworthy matter these days.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

MY PHONE IS NOT ANCIENT!!!!!!!!

please limit jokes to mp3 player. only. thanks.

p.s: this posting via email is so damn cool.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mere paas mp3 player hain

2001, my first thanksgiving sale in the US. (The event itself was something else, worthy of a post of it's own). I decided to indulge in an mp3 player- it was a luxury for me. I didn't go running or travel long distance, I didn't like carrying any extra stuff to the gym, given my tendency for losing anything and everything...So basically, I had no use for an mp3 player, but bought it nevertheless, pure indulgence. In those days fancy iPODs and iRivers had yet to become the in-thing. So here was my $30 gizmo, it played mp3s, you could program it to replay some songs on the loop, create playlists, etc. etc. Fun it was.

It served me well for the past 5 years. Soon I bought a car-cassette adapter for it, and when I bought my second car, it became the official car-music player. A set of rechargeable batteries, and a battery charger, and I was all set.

My bus ride to the lab everyday takes all of 15 mins or less. I usually occupy myself with a book, or my "to-do" list in this time...but there are times when I am overwhelmed or stressed, and want to simply close my eyes and listen to a song- to cheer me up or drive all other thoughts out of the head. Other times I feel the need to have some music plugged in simply to drown out these loud voices on the bus. So, for times like these, I decided to bring my mp3 player out of the car and carry it to school everyday.

Here starts the trauma. While other folks on the bus have these nice sleek i-pods with colour-coordinated earphones, jackets and what-have-yous tucked in their pocket, or one of those tiny gizmos hanging by a cord around their neck, mine is er. just a bit bulky for that. So either I have to carry it, and make a spectacle out of it, or just hide it's ungainly self in my backpack. When I come to a song i want to fast-forward or replay, I look around to see if anyone's looking first. Then I stealthily draw into the back pack, and fumble around the buttons to fast-foward the song. Often, in my hurry to not be noticed, I end up skipping the song I wanted to replay and vice-versa. Sometimes all that tugging and pushing also creates "loose contact". Now I have to actually pull out this offensive, embarrassing contraption, so I can stick the cord back in, and play the song I want to listen to. Five years of wear and tear, and the door won't shut- so it also needs a little affectionate tap once in a while- until I came up with the good ol' rubber-band as the permanent solution for that. One time I had to pull it out in clear view to fiddle with it, and the person sitting next to me stared down - eyes popping out- first at this "thing" in my hands, and then at me- like I had pulled out a bomb or something. I hurriedly stuffed the damn thing back into the bag, and got off at the next stop, even though it was not my stop. The guy actually looked scared, he jumped out of the seat to make way for me, afraid of making any contact. I walked to the lab, head bowed and red-faced, vowing to never take the damn thing on the bus again.

Here's a picture of the damn thing. I now stick to looking out of the window on the bus.

Cannot stand indecisiveness.

and right now, I cannot stand my own stupid impulsive capricious self!

Pick a lane!! and stick to it!!!

:( :@

p.s: am publishing this by emailing the post instead of going through blogger. a first for me..wonder if it works.???

Saturday, September 09, 2006

No comments!

Dear readers,
There's something I've been meaning to tell you. OK. So I will take a deep breath and confess here. At the risk of incurring the wrath of my readership, or even losing the very few that I have left after I moved.

Here goes..

ermm....Idon'tlikereplyingtocomments.
*phew* are you still there??

I am greedy like that. Want comments, but don't want to reply. Lazy also. :-)
Mostly, this is like homework for me that I don't want to do. :) Often the banter is fun, but most of the time, I've nothing to add to what a commenter has said. And I feel a bit silly while replying.."true" "i agree" "indeed" and such. Doesn't do good for my self-esteem, being as it is that I'm a rather silly person to start with. And I'm running out of these affirmitive expressions too.

So in the interest of my self-esteem :), I am not going to respond to every comment, unless I've something to add, clarify or refute.

OTOH, i know i always follow up my comments on others blogs to see what they've responded. And was heartbroken on that one ocassion when a certain blogger replied to everybody else's comment except mine! (you know i'm talking about you!! :@). :) But let's put this conflict aside for the time-being. When I started blogging, I thought it was the norm- you comment, you get replies. You blog, people comment, you reply. But I can't help seeing the pointlessness of my replies. now. After 70-odd posts. Did I mention I'm slow also? :-)

This is a trial phase. It might well end up that I can't keep my mouth shut for too long and end up wanting to butt in every now and then even when i've nothing of importance to say. :-)

What do y'all think????(just making sure y'all still comment! ;))

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Focus!

I need to focus. The deadlines loom large. Therefore I blog.

Aaaaaaargh

I should be

analysing data.

But I'm thinking about

a possible quickie trip to India this december (have u seen the prices??)
what to see in ottawa when i go there in october
where to go for my post-doc
why i cannot graduate in december
how life would be if i could
my sad state of financial affairs
when will my living room stop looking like a kabaad khaana (it right now has all the unsold furniture from my friend's apartment)
can i skip gym today too? because you see, i've this deadline...

Sorry for the random post. It's an attempt to remind myself to focus.

While we're at it, random song playing right now:

We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Wrapping up somebody else's affairs

is not easy.

And I'm not talking about selling the furniture and car on behalf of someone else, or packing boxes and finding a place to store them....which is painful enough.

How do you decide what memories are worth keeping and what you should discard when space is limited?

Think about having to entrust somebody else to wrap up your life..with the plan of coming back to it later. Must be even worse!

Monday, September 04, 2006

My impressive track record

I wrote to my best friend about the bodies exhibition yesterday- she wrote back
"I am so happy you enjoyed your trip to the exhibition and also impressed, knowing your track record."


I am impressed too! And it got me thinking back in time..I was in my second or third year of undergrad when my mom was hospitalised for a surgery. It was not really serious, but a first experience for me. I go to the hospital in the morning when the doctors are just wheeling her out of the O.T., post-surgery. My mom is just waking up from anesthesia then. Just seeing her like that, being wheeled out and the whole atmosphere- disturbed me a bit. I followed the doctors to her room and next thing I knew I was on the floor and there were five doctors and nurses hovering over me . I had passed out and my poor mum had to be left unattended. They got me some fluids and sent me packing. The hospital was at one end of the city, and I guess we all attributed it to all the traveling in the sun, the stress etc. It was no biggie. I return that afternoon with lunch for my father- this time my mom is still drugged, and has all these i.v hook ups and what not. My father is happy that I had come and he could eat some food and catch a nap. But of course, I had my own agenda. One look at my mom, and yes, ladies and gentlemen, I could not deal with it and did my little faint and crash to floor routine again!! Again nurses had to rush to my rescue, in the middle of taking care of my mom. Twice in the same day! This time I also broke my glasses. Father decided that this was just getting out of hand, not to mention expensive, and banned me from coming to the hospital again.

And to think my mom wanted me to become a doctor. This became a standing joke in the family.

Then 4 years ago, one of my closest friends H, here, was pregnant. It was the day of her big ultrasound in her second trimester- the one to ensure everything was going well with the baby and mother, and where you can also tell the sex of the baby if you wanted to. Well- H's husband had to go out of town so she asked me to go with her. I was honoured. After a nice breakfast I drive with her to the hospital. We're in the examination room, and the doctor has hooked her up to the little screen- and suddenly, I can see this teeny tiny fetus in her belly, we could make out the little toes, fingers ...monitor the baby's heartbeat. It was beautiful! I was standing by H who was lying down.. holding her hand, marveling at it all.. I was so overwhelmed...and suddenly found myself go dizzy and sank quietly to the floor. Luckily for me, I happened to be already leaning against a wall. This was a split second thing, and I recovered in a few seconds. I decided to be quiet about it. When we left, H told me that she felt my hand go cold all of a sudden and wondered why. I confessed to her what had happened, and we laughed at the irony of it all! So much for taking me for support..

For all this drama, when my grandfather was hospitalized while I was doing my masters, I stayed with him in the hospital for nearly a month during his last days. I nursed him, took care of his medications, feeding him through those tubes and what not. Never once did I feel faint or dizzy while witnessing all kinds of procedures they carried out on him. Given my history, my relatives would always be surprised to find me at the hospital when they came to visit my grandfather. I am still amazed that I didn't have a single faint-and-crash episode those days. Indeed, we surprise ourselves, often not knowing our hidden strengths and what we are capable of, should the situation demand it.

Inside out

Bodies..The exhibition is doing the rounds in some cities here in the U.S. Went to see it today- it was pretty damn cool, but I didn't have great expectations. That always helps.

The exhibits consisted of real human bodies preserved using silicone polymer..and showed you how the human body looks on the inside. It was all quite fascinating- one could see how the organs are placed, the bones and tissues in the body, the nervous system, the skeletal system..in various angles and sections. Quite awe-inspiring it was.
They had whole-body specimens (Which were mostly male bodies, I am not sure why) and then individual organ/system specimens. There were various sections devoted to different aspects of the human body- my favourite was the circulatory system- where they had replaced all the fluid in the arteries and veins with coloured polymer, and then selectively destroyed all the tissue/bone. So you could see every organ separately as a bunch of blood vessels. I thought it was really cool.

But that was before I went into the birth room. They had preserved specimens of the human embryo and fetus in various stages-starting from 2 weeks old to 30 weeks old. That was THE MOST amazing thing of all. The same room had preserved specimens of babies born with birth defects and that was rather disturbing..

Admittedly, at some point it got a bit repetitive, and at some points it got to information overload.. I think it was of some educational value, but unfortunately people were too loud and noisy wanting to show off all their knowledge while looking at the specimens and that put me off. I almost wanted to yell at everyone to shut up! I guess going on a sunday was asking for crowds..

P.S: All of the bodies were got from Dalian medical univ, China, it says.
P.P.S: I am an extremely queasy person myself -but the exhibition was not at all gross as I feared- it was too cool to be gross, believe me!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Here and There

K joined our lab after getting his Ph.D in India He walked up to my bench the other day and pointed out to the amount of plastic waste i generate in a day- this is what i'd put out in a week, he said. He has re-started two-sided printing in the lab, even if it means walking up the printer and turning the paper around and putting it back in, mid-printing. I used to do that for my first few months here and gave up. Now I am happy to do it again. I have always been a huge advocate of conserving, but over the years, lapsed into some amount of laziness and "going with the flow". K has come and re-instilled some of those practices.

I have never seen how a research institute might be run in India, but I had no illusions. Still, K has taken it upon himself to dispel any wrong notions I may have about the conditions there, given how I blow my "I-want-to-go-back-to-india" trumpet. In some ways, I am glad he's telling me all that, prepares me for my future. Although sometimes it does get annoying. It's amazing the things we take for granted here, how much labs have to struggle to get the same things back home. Financial constraints are one thing, the research atmosphere is another. Over here, for most part, the collaborative spirit is very dominant. People are only to happy to help, to lend reagents, exchange protocols, if it is going to further your science in any way. So I never hesitate to go across the hall and ask people, or share my thoughts with them. K would always hesitate- because he is more used to a highly competitive atmosphere- where people don't dole out help that easily and where everything is tinged with a hint of suspicion. I have seen a bit of that during my bachelors and masters days in india- where friends hid notes from you and other such sneaky doings. Of course, these are not always the rule. You have crazy paranoid unhealthy competition here, and I am sure the converse is true for labs in India.

Partly, one cannot blame people for being so close-minded or paranoid in India. Where opportunities are far and few in between, and everything is a struggle. I remember the time I was investigating options of doing a Ph.D in India- right then it was clear to me that it'd be a lot easier for me to land a position abroad! For those that made it through the system and got those prized research fellowship positions, they are then faced with 5 - 6 years of only more struggle. It's not the easiest for them to be all noble and selfless when they are constantly trying to maintain their spot and survive. Here, there's ample space for everyone to grow, and excellence is encouraged. People do well , and want you , encourage you to also do well. Because there's enough to go around.

K probably comes from one of those places which is a hotbed of red-tape and bureaucracy, he has so many horror stories to relate about curbed freedom in science, difficulties in getting money that was rightfully his, etc. etc. Makes some sense why Indian scientists come abroad and never want to go back. I have seen my share of dirty wars in science over here - I don't think any society is bereft of politics, egos, and the like. How much they hamper science, is of course, all relative. Inspite of politics and dirty games, conveniences available to people in their daily work-life, and the absolute freedom makes for a much smoother sailing. It's funny to see K's eyes popping every time he sees how easy I have some things, and then he has his own little anecdote to relate. (Yeah, that's when it gets a bit annoying . ;) )

India is growing in science and technology like never before. My father is always sending me newspaper clippings of how R&D is making huge strides and it's heartening to know that. I personally know at least a couple people who finished their Ph.D here and went back home. Money is becoming more fluid and available, at least in big institutes. People are taking processes, technologies AND attitudes from abroad and implementing them back home. Yes, it's a long journey ahead, but some right steps are being taken.

At the end of the day, I am not going back to India for better career prospects. I am going back because I want to go home. And I am willing to make accommodations in my professional lifestyle for that. I hope I stand by this five years from now.

Friday, September 01, 2006

So much to say, so much to say,

but so little inclination. Today I am tired. If only I could just wish it all away. With one sweep of my hand. How cool that would be?

Instead, I will put fight. {siiiigh}.