November 30, 2006

In a foggy night…

Its getting cold in Paris… start of winter… the beauty of Paris never inspired me to venture out in winter….a stroll next to the river…to see Eiffel tower in snow…no way! … Just like to fold myself inside thick rugs and keep drinking liters of tea, of course with lots of chips watching all the possible crappy movies, just by keeping with the eyes outside the rug. I was dreaming to do that tonight too, but thanks to Sharmishta, a ex-colleague from India visited Paris on a business trip, she took me out for a long walk, to the Eiffel tower and for a French dinner. Going out in winter was not as scary as I thought; you get warmed up after a bit of walk. More over there were nice things to watch, lots of Christmas trees, the light city Pairs was lit up with more lights for Christmas, more over Eiffel tower stood magnificently with half covered fog. I guess I should stop being a couch potato in winter and discover Paris and Europe by winter too. Thanks to Sharmishta, thats her infront of Notre dame, the cathedral where Napolean got married.

November 28, 2006

As the sun went down yesterday …

One thing I miss a lot, living in a city like Paris is the view of the horizon. I think it’s very typical of a city, which are not boarded by sea/ocean. In Paris it may be also because of Haussmannization. In 1852, urban planning was done by a very famous French civic planner called Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, which still conserved and make Paris one of very unique city, without skyscrapers (there is just one inside the city). In the Paris all the buildings are just 6 -7 storied, with almost uniform design, in a way this adds charm to this city, but sometimes it makes me feel claustrophobic too. Especially during winter, when the parks close very early and it’s too cold to sit next to the river. But luckily I have nice view of the sky from my present work desk; it’s nice to see the clouds making new designs in the blue sky. Yesterday since I was already feeling blue, with Andy’s farewell, may be the sky didn’t want to add more blue, it showed me some magnificent colors and designs to cheer me up!

November 27, 2006

Charlie’s Angels…

Andy, (you guys might have already read about him in my earlier blog) a very intelligent post-doc in my lab, and I was lucky enough to work with him for almost 2 years. He got a position in a very prestigious genome Institute (Tigr) in USA, and today he left back to him home country. We are very happy and proud of his success in getting a prestigious position in such a young age. We will miss him a lot, he is an open encyclopedia, we can jump into his desk with any type of SOS question, and he had instant solution for our problem and more over a nice friend to get very frank opinions. But luckily we will be still working with him through skype to finish couple of publications together. We took this picture today in the airport, that’s Nazanine and me with our Charlie. We will miss you Andy!

November 20, 2006

Uma, la petite déesse!

I guess my Christmas started already; today I got a very cute gift from my lab friend Nazanine. She bought me this book called “Uma, la petite déesse” meaning “Uma, the little Goddess” . It’s a French book on Hindu mythology , Goddess Uma. My friends are trying all the possible tricks to make me learn French. French men and French movies didn’t inspire me to pick up French, let’s see if this book inspires me. Touch wood! where ever I go, I am blessed with wonderful ,Caring and Warm Friends! Thanks Nazanine!

November 17, 2006

University Visit!

Today, I officially step into second year of my Phd. We had our annual meeting in my university, Université Paris-Sud 11, which is in orsay, a beautiful suburb of Paris; unfortunately we have to go to this beautiful campus only one in a year, Today it was a nice drive out side Paris, with autumn trees, standing with colorful leaves. That’s my boss with his wonderful students, in side the university campus. My first year report was quite satisfactory. I started writing articles, for publishing my first year results; I am giving a tough time for my British boss, with my great English (as you might have my noticed in my blog). Anyways this month is meant for hard work ‘writing’, and as usual, I am gifting my self with a nice trip, early next month, to celebrate my birthday and Christmas with my best friend, in his own country. Well! Its going to be my first visit to ‘this’ neighboring country, which is very famous for its Christmas markets. Let me keep the suspense alive till next month…

November 13, 2006


Something I learnt about myself from my recent travels.. I don’t like to spent time before my computer during my trip…even if the hotel room have wifi, Also I take some time to come back to my laptop after my trip….yeah, I was just feeling lazy and spent time in writing reports about my conference. I wanted to update my blog with small exciting things happened during the conference, the most exciting part of the conference was that I showed my work poster to Peer Bork, a bioinformatics big-shot from EMBL and to Ginger Armbrust, a oceanographer (diatom) big shot and got constructive criticism. Also my talk in small satellite meetings, Algal and Toxic Algal meeting was very rewarding, got a chance to explore the Algal world. Now where did this great conference held?

Just 30 mins by speed boat or 45 mins in a ferry or 1 hour in a train from Naples you reach this very cute town Sorrento. My conference held here on the top of a small hill, in a luxurious conference hall in Hilton. Most of the balconies of the Hilton had a view on the sea and the volcano, Mount Vesuvius, we didn’t have much time to explore the town, but enjoyed the music, dance and food of the region as a part of the conference dinner, drank liters of Limoncello. That was lots of science and fun.

Other lessons I learned: Don’t take a speed boat, when the sea is rough. On my way back to Naples in a speed boat, the sea was rough and every one from my lab got sea sick. 2. Don’t eat in Indian and Italian sea food restaurants, these guys reuse the fish oil(well they consider fish to be vegetarian), and I get my sea food allergy even if I eat veggie stuff there.

That’s a picture with Angela, an Italian colleague, during the breakfast, with Mount Vesuvius in the background.

More pics from Sorrento

November 08, 2006


I had sometime (just half a day) to go around Naples, with Marc. Inspite of he doing his PhD with me in Paris, he does some experiments in Naples, as a frequent flyer to Naples he knows the place. Naples was more like some doggy city in India,it seems not very safe for girls to go around alone . During my one week stay, there were 10 murders, Mafias killing each other in public. I got so much of security tips before going to Naples, to be careful with the hand bags and cameras, infact I even didn’t take my SLR with me. If you don’t believe me you can see for yourself, how they lock their cars in Naples. The most of the ATMs don’t work here. I got my money after walking across five crashed ATMs. In restaurant you have to have your eyes open on the bill. I ate an gnocchi for 7 euros and got a bill for 13 euros. I wanted to tell them..”Guys! I am from will be difficult for you guys to cheat me, we keep our eyes open even when we sleep”. Inspite of all these things I am happy with my trip, I was able to see the strong network of family here. Mothers hugging their babies as they walk rather than carrying it like a super market commodity…In touristy places and in restaurants you can see young and older generation eating our as family, which is very rare to see in Paris (unless its Christmas). I was able to feel why my friends love India, inspite of they end up having atleast one police case, with their stolen things during their travel in India. I felt the same in Naples. More Naples...