Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The number in a big square , with "Seat number" written below it on your boarding pass denotes the seat number on your flight. That is the number of the seat in which you will be seated on the flight. The number on the bottom with "Gate number" written below it denotes the gate number. That is the gate where your flight is at, from where you will board your flight. If you decide to confuse the two, for reasons only known to you, chances are that you will be running all over the airport 10 minutes before scheduled time of departure. Of course, if running all around the airport is almost a way of life for you, you will probably make your flight. But next time, consider simply walking to wherever you need to get.

I went to visit my sister. I did not avoid writing my thesis. Because I did not even bother pretending to write. But the break was good. My niece is an angel. A devlish angel, actually. :-). There's something really cathartic about playing with little kids. I even stopped the whole grinding my teeth business while I was there. It was a perfect getaway.

Now I'm back to reality, and reality says there's very little time left, and still so much to be done. Life goes on, the fight goes on. I am definitely in good spirits thanks to the short break, and ready to take the fight head on again! I missed this space, and my blog just turned a year old too! It's good to be back here! Thanks for checking in on me and sorry for all those unanswered comments. :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

"Why not?"

is not a good enough reason for "why?".

and that's why.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I know what my problem is

Not enough hate.

Yesterday, I bumped into an old acquaintance from the building I used to work in earlier. She was from a big lab with lots of people, and lots of activity. She always looked a bit hassled. (A tad more than the typical grad student level of hassle, i'd say).

Me: Hey S! How have you been? Good seeing you here.
S: Oh just great. And how about you?
Me: Good too. How are things back in your lab? Say hi to all the folks there.
S: Oh things are great. Ever since G graduated, the lab has become such a happy place. We were all praying that she graduated soon, and we're so glad she's gone now.
Me: Oh!? (thinking in my mind, that G graduated? before ME?) :-)
Me: Oh, howcome G graduated earlier than usual?
S: Well.. who cares, we're glad she's gone!
Me: That's great then. Can you guys please throw some hate my way?


Friday, February 09, 2007

How do they know?

Another unsuccessful week has come to an end. I've decided to take off for two or three days- go up to the mountains to write, or go to my sister's to not write. One of those two things. I am getting quite tired of this. Unfortunately, thanks to teaching, I cannot take more than 3 days off. I have a choice at this point- stop at a stopping point, close shop, write it up and leave. Or stay on, chase the proverbial pot of gold that I just had a fleeting glimpse of and that eluded me since. There's no telling I'll find it, but it's a decision I need to make now. I am well aware that this is the classic "mistake" most graduate students make. Things can always get better, more can always be done, the paper can always be sexier. But there is wisdom in recognizing the difference between what is sufficient, what is necessary and plain old wishful thinking or "pet theories" (That have some validity, I might add) ;). On the other hand, it's not like I have a job waiting for me, so what next?

Don't know. I know what my advisor wants- and I know she is wise and experienced and I should just listen to her. But when have I ever listened to anyone? ;) Anyways, time, gels and parasites will tell. :-) I am not exactly looking for answers here, just ranting.

Last night, I talked to my dad- about everything else except this shit. Because this shit is old, and I can keep talking about it, going in circles. And honestly, I can paint this really depressing picture. (Like you all have seen ;) ) The truth is, it's not all that bad, and it is not a rare turn of events at all, in grad school life. So I will take things as they come, and eventually, they will pan out.

My parents don't read my blog. They have never lived in a grad-school setting or been exposed to the vagaries of this life, and the uncertainty that shrouds finishing up. I know they are looking forward to see me finish, get out, go out, get a life, get a real job ( I have broken it to them that a post-doc is not a real job ;)). I know they are waiting to inundate me with matchmaking efforts and embark on the groom hunt. They must also be eagerly be waiting to see me, it's been so long.

In spite of all of that, they're the only people who do not piss me off with annoying questions or references about my impending graduation. They have never said stuff like "When is this ending? It's gone on so long. We want to see you settled". They never ask me "did you find a job? will it be close to your sister's? we want you to be near her"- although I know that's what they're dearly hoping for. They just know, I'll tell them if there's something to share, else it's all status quo. These days, I have nothing meaningful to add to phone conversations with anyone. "What's new?" - "Nothing". "Aur batao" - "nothing" (gritting teeth because that aur batao shit gets on my nerves). In spite of having nothing to talk about, my parents are the only people left that I can have a conversation with and not be irritated. Just how do they do it?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Depression is coming!

Every time I start feeling down and out that statement alone cracks me up.

Bleddy Hell. Who's idea was this whole Ph.D thing to start with??

Now headache is also paining.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


An email to the department list-serv in my inbox this morning:

Good Morning

An instructor has reported that someone took the wall clock from room 2204, David Clarke building. If you know who took it or where the clock is, please get in touch with me

-The dept. secretary.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAH! Who takes a freaking clock???? What is the world coming to? And to think of it, those clocks in the class rooms are mighty ugly too- the kind you'd see at railway stations and airports.

Amazing moms.

And this one is about Raam Pyari's mom. Something about this post and the photo got me all misty-eyed. Such a sweet thing to do!

I guess in some ways it did remind me of my mom and the things she did for our bai, Nazia back home.

One the one hand, I was one of those bai-union-leaders type person. Every time my mom chided Nazia for not showing up to work I would get all upset and defensive. "After all they are also people- they also have issues and should be allowed to take off, shouldn't they??" My mom is also a huge stickler for cleanliness and was constantly on Nazia's case about the corners she forgot to mop and the soap stains she left on the dishes. All of this used to bother me and I was constantly getting into fights with my mom about it.

On the other hand, my mom did nice things in her own way for Nazia and her children. For one, Nazia always ate nashta with us, and also made demands sometimes. "Aunty, aapka dosa banao na". :) to which mom would give in. If she went out and brought us seasonal fruits, etc, she always gave a generous portion to Nazia to take home. When Nazia's son got into some lafda with the police she sent my dad and neighbour uncle to the slums to intervene and bail the boy out. She always insisted that my sister bring chocolates for them when she was visiting us from abroad. My mother's outgoing acts when it came to treating the bai to something special also made me uneasy! I always felt that if we expose them to things they are not used to getting in their lives, they will feel more miserable about their situation. So I always cringed and backed out of any opportunity to hand Nazia chocolates or other treats for her kids etc. Like Raam pyaari said in her post, I never wanted to have anything to do with it.

But that photo on Raam pyaari's blog sums it up so nicely. All the kids obviously had a great time, and will enjoy the occasion for what it was and cherish the memory. And that was all there was to it, it was a simple of act of thoughtfulness that did not need too much analysis- just had to be done!

Here's to amazing moms all over! :)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Teen patte

Once upon a time, there were two friends in blogworld. TGFI and QSG. One day, TGFI tagged QSG. QSG never did the tag. Others friends came, other tags were imposed. QSG did those tags. But TGFI's tag remained, undone. Life went on.

Then one day, QSG, having blissfully forgotten about her act of gross inconsideration, shamelessly tagged TGFI. But TGFI decided to be the bigger person, and actually did the tag! Here goes:

Three things that scare me:
1. Entering year 7 of grad school
2. My own cynicism
3. The real world

Three people who make me laugh:
1. Myself
2. Kramer in Jerry Seinfeld
3. Memories of several giggling moments that nobody else would find funny

Three things I love:
1. Understanding how genes work
2. Little kids
3. Traveling to new places

Three things I hate:
1. Petty gossip
2. Meddlesome people
3. How my life has become so single-tracked over the past many months

Three things I don’t understand:
1. The objectification of women
2. 3 hour plus bollywood movies
3. Why that experiment stopped working? :(

Three things on my desk:
1. Papers
2. A postcard that makes me smile, always. :)
3. Self-motivational quotes

Three things I’m doing right now:
1. Avoiding work
2. Thinking about what to do for lunch
3. Thinking about hotel beds. I love those soft fluffy mattresses they have there. They are very bad for the back though. But they also automatically make themselves up . Cool no?

Three things I want to do before I die:
1. Make that experiment work!
2. Travel to all those places- or at least half of them on my list.
3. Give back in a substantial and significant way.

Three things I can do:
1. Cook a great meal
2. Go all out for someone in need
3. Make your life miserable if the situation calls for it. :-)

Three things you should listen to:
1. Your gut
2. Good music
3. The voice of caution, sometimes

Three things you should never listen to:
1. Negativity
2. Blues, Country, Heavy metal
3. Third-hand gossip that is going around faster than the flu

Three things I’d like to learn:
1. The violin. Again
2. To give in and to let go. Again
3. Portuguese or any foreign language.

Three favourite foods:
1. Mummy's anything and everything
2. Gulab Jamuns!
3. Curd rice and aavvakai (achaar)

Three beverages I drink regularly:
1. Chai
2. Water
3. Tough choice here between OJ and vodka. :-)

Three TV shows/Books I watched/read as a kid:
1. Giant Robot
2. Target (the kid's magazine)
3. Indradhanush

Three people I would like to tag:
1.Shripriya (Your imaginary readers can use some dope)
2. Kaushik (Something less random for you to blog about)
3. Satya (Since you don't post much these days)


Friday, February 02, 2007

Nothing else matters

Except keeping yourself hydrated

And hoping you didn't talk too much rubbish to a bunch of people you hardly knew, but went out with for drinks.

And hoping you didn't hit on any gay guys.

It's all good, people. All good.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sap etc.


S's hugs
S's shoulder to bawl on
P's support and sage advice
M's fussing
M's commiserating
H's listening ear and jokes - even if they were at my expense- heck, especially the ones at my expense :)
S to go out with and drink and bitch
B to go out with and eat and giggle
R to demand a nice home-cooked meal from
R to kick my butt into gear


I can afford a guilt-free wastage of time indulgence
I can take a stress-free walk
I could enjoy something, anything, without feeling like I'm running away
I can run away
I can hide


I can do this! S, P, M, H, S, B, and R did! And showed me how! :-)

Celebrate we will
Because life is short but sweet for certain
We're climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue,
These things we cannot change......

-Two step, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds.