Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quote World Unquote Series

So this is the last place to find a sports-related post, but even if I wanted to ignore it, I wouldn't be able to.It's Philadelphia, they just won the "World" Series (Baseball) after 30 years or something and people are going C-razy! Cars are honking all the way down the street, I can hear the cheering from the bar two blocks down the street from where I live and fireworks going off everywhere. It's nice. Pepped me up. I am trying to ignore my beef about them calling it the "World" series...that crib has gotten old now, no?


So the birthday was fun and all, but the downer? Drunk me forgot my jacket at the bar. It was a nice black leather jacket- bought from Dharavi when I was first getting ready to come to the US way back in 2001. My best friend N and I went from store to store, haggling. N made sure I got the best deal, nice looking, well-fitting jacket. N has always been that kind of friend for me. Takes me shopping and always either insists on paying for my stuff or makes sure I get the best bargain. Its so much fun to go shopping with her.

I was looking at the photos from Fri night. In the beginning, you can see the jacket piled on my backpack beside me. Towards the end, along with that glazed eye look I adopted, the jacket is nowhere to be seen. I imagine it slipped off and fell on the floor and nobody noticed.

Called the bar and asked them, they say nobody turned one in. It also had my nice (and only) pair of gloves in its pockets. I feel so bad. It was a nice expensive jacket, got compliments and envious looks every time I wore it. More importantly, it had such a fond memory associated with it. N accompanying me patiently and uncomplainingly in the slush and mud in the rainy season in Dharavi.

It didn't really matter to me that N forgot to wish me on my birthday this year. (A first). I messaged her and reminded her to do so. It really sucks that I lost that jacket.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I can strike "hit on random guy in bar" off my list now.

Yeah, the big 3-0 was celebrated in style. :) Cannot divulge all the details, but suffice to say that I'm still kinda sorta hungover from Friday night.

Cool bar. My best friend from school and a couple other friends. Not having to wait for a table in said cool bar. The end of what was a very stressful week in a string of stressful weeks. Evening kicked off with an awesome chocolate martini. Presents. Good conversation. More drinks. Hmm. Things get blurry here. There was cake they tell me, and a candle that said 29, just to appease me. I don't remember. But that was a sweet thing to do.

Said random guy also had a girlfriend there with him, I was told later. Heh.

It's a good thing I don't live in New York. :D

As I am told about the events, I've traversed feelings of disbelief, embarrassment, remorse and finally arrived at pride. Indicating it was time to brag on blog about it. :p

Thursday, October 23, 2008

W.O.M.M #30

Drivers in Philly are absolute Jerks. With a capital J. I've decided to invest in a nice loud industrial strength horn that can be attached to Basanti and honk away my frustration at all those buggers that think they rule the roads.

Went hiking to capture some awesome fall colours this past weekend. The North East is truly beautiful this time of the year.

Things are only as bad as you make them out to be. Repeat 10x.

W.o.m.m. #30 couldn't have come at a better time..and I swear I didn't plan it this way. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More on superstitions

OK, my life in the lab is not really looking up these days so here's another post on something antipodal to science. While on the topic of irrational beliefs, one of my closest friends (also a scientist) has the most annoying blind belief due to which she refuses to be in a photo with her close friends. She believes that the friendship suffers if she takes a photo with them! I know! Stupid, silly, very annoying and the reason why I don't have a single photograph of her and me. Always bugged me to no end.

Our friendship has been one of the most rocky friendships I've ever had, for a variety of reasons. But it has stood the test of time, misunderstandings, spats, disagreements, distance and everything in between and beyond. Today a mail from her completely out of the blue brought me out of my bad mood and got me thinking about her and her silly superstitious beliefs and how just a few lines from here had such a happy effect on me..and I realized, for whatever its worth, I'm glad we don't have a picture together. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nazar lag gayi

How many people share their complete irritation for that belief with my friend S? S abhors that notion like no other. I, on the other hand, (shamefully, for being a scientist), have a good amount of belief in the phenomenon. And I think I've jinxed a lot of things for myself in the recent past.....
just thinking.....

What I did this weekend.

Instead of me taking the bus, train, etc and visit my sis and co, they came here instead. My sis stayed back, while my niece went back with her dad. The father-daughter team are pretty self-sufficient and oblivious to the rest of the world as it is. I totally enjoyed spending time like this with my sis and sorta kinda playing host to her. We called my mom in the morning and lots of gossip was exchanged, arguments ensued and shouting over each others voices followed. Fun. We should do this more often..

In other news, I took off sitemeter. Now there's only one thing on here that just counts the hits, and I don't have any clue what my password is to that site so I will never bother with it. This is kinda cool. Liberating. I will live-blog withdrawal symptoms as they set in. And let me take this chance to tell anyone that knows me in real life and is reading this blog, be nice enough to let me know, at least? :p (Sitemeter is gone but paranoia remains, apparently. ;) )

Friday, October 10, 2008


How does one bridge the gap between knowing what to do and then actually doing it? So you bitch and crib and rant about your situation to anyone who's willing to listen. People give well meaning advice, and you're tired at some point because its not anything you didn't know.

Less talk, more do. That's what I need.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Its about to go

Every once in a while I feel like changing something about this blog. Having threatened quitting more than once, found the most awesome template ever (or in any case too lazy to change that now :p ), changed the format of posts, taken archives off and on a few times, what is left now? I feel like messing with it yet again. Like they say, keeda. So, I've decided to take off sitemeter. Ooooooh. Scary thought. I am addicted to sitemeter in an almost pathological way. Its borderline disgusting even to me. So may be if I take it off, it will put an end to one of the many ways in which I waste my time, and will be liberating too. Now I wont worry if that login from is someone who knows me or that hit from hyderabad india are my parents or that person from philadelphia who spent 3 hours on my blog going through all my archives lives right next door!

What say? Shall I? Shall I???

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

This tangled web

I need a simple day. I'm not asking for miracles, or even experiments that work. I'll take failed experiments. That, in my book, is pretty normal. I want to wake up on time, go to the gym, go to lab, write detailed notes in my notebook, get most of the things on my very achievable list done, feel good about myself, come home, make chai, chat with a friend or two ..just simple small talk..gossip..inconsequential stuff... Or chat with my niece. Or ask to talk to my niece and hear her say "no...!!" :) Read a book..go out- weather permitting, make dinner, eat, sleep. That's all I want.

No shockers. No curve balls. No sad stories of anyone else. No stressful conversations. No emails that bring me down. No fukat ka mach mach. No worrying. No wondering. No pondering. No post-mortem-ing. No nothing.

I want.

Friday, October 03, 2008

On getting a foot in the door in industry

After an unsatisfactory year at this post-doc I have been exploring my options to get into industry and realize that at this point I am stuck in the post-doc rut , thanks to my "Academic H1 visa only portable within educational institutions".

As a grad student in the life sciences who are given to believe that a post-doc is the only way to go after the Ph.D., I think now, in retrospect, that the O.P.T period is actually the best time to explore your options to get into industry. It's tough and next to impossible, agreed, but but you have one less thing going against you, namely your visa status. A year or two of post-doc doesn't change that much except in terms of contacts, if at all. You are now in a sticky academic H1 which is pretty useless in applying for an industry position, doesn't matter how much cooler your c.v has gotten with more papers and what not. Five years into a post-doc, you should havee gotten ahead on a Green card application and hopefully that will help your chances in industry. That is assuming you survive the five years in post-doc hell without too much psychological trauma. ;)

So my advice to all you poor sods passionate about biology and still struggling in grad school, pull out all the stops to try for an industry position for as soon as you graduate. (If you at all want to explore that route). Get contacts, circulate your C.V around, get a head-hunter, do everything you can to try for a position then. If you are indeed successful in landing a job, you can always return to academia after a year if you decide you hate industry. If you do very well, your company can (may be ?) help file paper work for a corporate H1.

Any others with more experience in this please do chime in.

I recall a time I used to get into desi gatherings and all of them discussing visa and green card and find that terribly off-putting. Guess what?
heh. Never say never, they say.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


You just do not know enough to be pessimistic.