March 30, 2007


Kiel, that’s where I was this Friday, for the diatomics meeting along with seven other people from my lab, you may have problem in searching that town in the map, so here it is, small town in Germany, touching the North Sea. It’s around 1 hour drive from Hamburg, but as my group of scientist were racing in car at 140 km/hr, we reached this town just in 40 min. Nothing special in this small town, a big church in the middle of the town, few bars, short shopping streets, some love centers, the official prostitution places and ofcourse an oceanographic institute. But nice people and smell of science in the air, added lots of charm to my trip to this little town. Sometime even new people I meet make me feel as if I know them for long time; that too such a picky person like me, starts feeling comfortable with new people...Hmm! scary! Such incidents incline me more towards believing in reincarnation. As they say in India, may be I know them from previous birth? Also this meeting made me think that I may have to soon rename my blog, after interacting and listening to the ‘real’ diatomist, I can feel how far I am from calling myself a diatomist.

March 28, 2007

Golden rule of Reciprocity

I waited many years in desperation to start my Phd, but now working with my current boss makes me feel that it was a very worthy waiting. We students in our lab never got work pressure from our boss in the lab, but the sciences keeps growing automatically in a very smooth way. Today I got glimpses behind this secret; Chris (my boss) gave me tips to handle my new master’s thesis students. It was really enlightening
  • Each people are very different in perceiving science and their work.
  • Give them enough space and time to make them feel comfortable with their work
  • Never try to force things out of them.
  • Understanding and to have a feel for the work is more important in science.

He conveyed all this to me, not by words but by his actions and these are the things which make him feel so comfortable working with him and exactly these are the things which I was not giving to my student, I was just getting things done from him like a machine.

Epictetus: "What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others." (circa 100 CE)

I copied that quote from a site, which takes about the commonality of 21 different religions in the world. They give this as a golden rule of Reciprocity. Learning such things is very easy, but lucky are the people who get a condition when they can put things into practice, most of the time in practice, we realize that our actions are very far from the book knowledge.

March 25, 2007

Thank You...Paris!

Look what Paris can make out of you…. yeah! you guys know about the sad story about my broken laptop, Also I proudly wrote in my earlier blog that I may get a new one, but circumstances and life in Paris pushed me against it. I ended up dismantling my laptop and found where things went wrong, the hinges were broken . Luckily I found new hinges in eBay and I replaced it all by myself, now my old laptop is up and running just at the cost of 15 euros. For all the stress I faced because my laptop, now I am left with a feeling of great satisfaction and immense pride. Can you believe that a laptop opened into so many pieces can be brought back into one single working piece, by a biologist? I am really proud of myself; I should thank Paris and ofcourse my brother(the whole thing was his idea) for teaching me the most difficult lessons of life!

March 24, 2007


I was just reading some random stuff to keep my brain engaged. I read a little about ‘The Amazons’ in the Greek mythology. Often, when I am just surrounded by more than two women, I fear of seeing a ‘catfight’. How on earth it’s possible to have a complete society of women? Now a days I am seeing ‘cold’ catfights very often, unfortunately the reason for these fights are men! I guess there were not enough men in the amazon’s life to have such silly catfights and Hysterical Blindness. Hmm! That’s the stressful story about ‘the east’ trying to survive in ‘the west’. Having said that, I should accept that when 'the north' meets 'the south', it can be one big stress reliever; Today I went for a concert (jugalbandi) fusion of Carnatic music(South Indian) and Hindustani classical music(North Indian) by Shashank on Flute and Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan on Sitar. Some fusions are mind blowing, while others can blow your mind!

March 17, 2007

Life is full of...

Life is full of pleasant and unpleasant surprises; the unpleasant one first, if you have a bad day, the travel time from Paris airport to Paris is more than Paris to Frankfurt. Yesterday my friend Micha, left to New York, I went to see him off in the airport, and on my way back I took the FAST train, the RER. The ticket counter for the train had a kilometre long queue of sad tourists, after giving a sarcastic smile and bit pity; I proudly took out my French ATM card, and walked to the automated ticket dispenser, where the queue was definitely not a kilometre long may be few centimetres less, after 20 minutes, when I got my turn, the stupid ticket dispenser brutally refused my ATM card, next 20 minutes, I ran around the whole terminal and bought stupid things just to collect eight euros and ten cents as coins, well rest is a history, I got back to Paris, by the same time Micha got into his connecting flight in Frankfurt. The most unpleasant part is that all this happened in the airport of the city which has world’s highest number tourist.

So, now to the pleasant surprise part of the life, when you are searching for French words to talk to a foreigner, he may reply back in your mother tongue. “Cordonnier“ , is a special type of shop which makes keys and repair shoes, you will find this in almost every corner of Paris. Today morning, I took my favourite shoes to one such shop to replace a very noisy half broken heal, I was trying to gather French words to explain them and telling myself , “ Yes I can do this”! Entering the shop I said Bonjour! And as I was trying to take out my shoes and other French words, to continue the conversation, the shop keeper said, “Bonjour! d'où venez-vous ?” ( where do you come from?) Thank god! I can answer this and I said “d'Inde, sud ”, hearing this, he started talking to me in Tamil, he is from Vietnam and learned Tamil just by seeing “Kollywood” Movies it seems.

Leaving my shoes with its Tamil speaking doctor, I am back to my computer to hear the live commentary of the India’s first match in the world cup cricket, let’s see if they put me in a pleasant or unpleasant surprise.

March 12, 2007

Laughter therapy!

By the time, I left India “Laughter therapy” was getting quite famous in Bangalore. There was a group of people, the Laughter club members who get together everyday in the park, where I use to run and they just laugh for 30 min. It’s quite funny to watch, people standing in circle and laughing loud like crazy. Its a good way to handle stress it seems. I was very curious to know, if it actually works, I met an old man in the group and asked him about it, he was very excited with this method and started giving examples from his real life, but I was not quite convinced about it. But today I can say it does work. Yesterday was Poonams birthday, I should say that she is my first friend in Paris (outside the lab) I met her just on my second day in Paris.I got together at her place yesterday with some very light hearted people and had so much of fun, I got rid of my heavy feels from last week, I feel as light as a feather and now I am all set to start the new week, without Monday Blues!

March 10, 2007

Opposite reactions…

I am back! You may be wondering if my prayers are answered, especially for a person like me, who don’t want to do the daily rituals and prayers! And turn towards angels like Gaia, only when I don’t have of my ‘real’ angels, my friends in the vicinity. In my last week’s stress and pain and with my disturbed equilibrium, I forgot the understand the physics of this hypothesis. When there are too many negative things happen around us, and the universe still wants to maintain its equilibrium, there should be some positive things happen to nullify the negativity right? Yes! I poured out my pain as a prayer to the universe and it did send me some angels to get me back in equlibrium.

First my stress about this ‘not traveling phase’ – Friday, my boss came and asked me if I want to present my results in a ‘EU meeting in Germany, which means just two weeks from now, I will be having a weekend break Hamburg, after my presentation in Kiel!

Second stress – my laptop, again my boss volunteered to fix it at the lab’s cost, and also my family is ready to gift me a new one. so right now, with an external hard disk and a book stand to support my ‘old’ laptop, I am think about which option, I should go for.

Third stress – My bike, seeing a chatter box so silent in the lab, my friend in lab, Marc came and asked me the reason. Well! I didn’t know where to start, as there was solution for the other problems in the vicinity, I started with the bike and he started laughing, No! He is not a person who laughs at others problems, for him handling bike and fixing its problems is a childhood hobby it seems, so he was just excited to solve this new challenge, with his magic hands took out the broken part from lock and opened the bike for me!

Fourth stress – my tea cup, with a sign of relief from the above stresses I was in a better sprit to go buy a new tea cup, in my favorite Le Palais des Thés , tea shop. Even though its bit far from my house, I like to go there, just for very friendly and warm Indo-British shop assistant, and for the first time, we started talking about things other than tea and I was very happy to know that even she felt the same warmth between us and she came up with a reason that the yoga and meditation which we both do made our ‘aura’ to communicate deeper, even though we were just talking about tea verbally. Now at the very small cost of my tea cup I got a spritual friend and company to do yoga during the weekend.

And today morning as I woke up with the lighter mind, which was cheered up by the comment from my writer friend Lili, and her lovely words and the fact that its her first comment in my blog cheering up my day! lucky are the people, who have shoulders to cry as they wait for the universe to get back to equilibrium, every tears I shed makes me feel how lucky I am! Gaia Hypothesis works!

March 08, 2007

My Little Prayer!

Last week my boss came to me and asked if I knew James Lovelock? Vaguely trying to recall the names of Oscar nominees, I said "no"! With a big surprise he said, "you should be knowing him, I am sure you will like his hypothesis" ! And he was right, for past few days I was reading articles by and about him. Dr. James Lovelock came up with Gaia hypothesis , which was used by NASA to check if life exit in other planets. The summary of this hypothesis, in my spiritual perspective is , In earth the living and non-living thing are constantly influencing each other and still maintaining a sort of equilibrium. (well it sounds bit like the Japanese spiritual practise Riki) Also, when the equilibrium is disturbed, incidents of similar nature are repeated, to get back to the equilibrium.

We might have noticed in our daily life, sometimes we keep spilling water again and again the whole day, or we may be annoyed by all the know and unknown people we meet on a 'bad' day! With my naive knowledge on Gaia hypothesis, I guess we can take such incidents as a proof of this hypothesis. Well! if I apply Gaia hypothesis in my life, I am sure,right now I am not in equilibrium. I broke two of my favourite things in the last two days! my Laptop and my Tea cup! Wishing that I soon reach the equilibrium of 'constructive phase'!This hypothesis was named after the Greek goddess Gaia, let me wait and see how long it takes for Gaia to get me back to my constructive phase! yes! you are right! that's the picture of Gaia to whom I dedicate this little prayer!
PS: Just after updating this blog, I was trying to open my bicycle and I found a half of the key in my hands and other inside the lock! Now I need to take some expert to open my bicycle! Oh! God!

March 02, 2007

Paris, je t'aime..but plz.. let me go!

I started breathing the official oxygen of Paris for the third year, it makes me think that I should soon have a break from Paris…I didn’t travel after my exciting Christmas trip to Munich.

Ok..Micha is going to New York, what about a USA trip by end of this month? I love traveling with Micha, but…. no! At this point I can’t afford it…the French government just caught me for not paying taxes, yes! Even poor students should pay taxes; I am paying two year taxes with some penalty, which means I lost a decent part of my savings…!

Well! Still it’s not that bad…. I can afford a trip in Europe! I just got a mail from my friend, she is defending her thesis, in Lausanne. Even though I was bit saturated with Switzerland with my long summer stay there (It was like eating tons of chocolates in a day), I can go to meet my friend, and specially her cute little son! But No! I can’t do that…again French government is the reason. I still didn’t get my work permit renewed, which means I can’t cross the border, atleast till the middle of this month.

What about a weekend break within France? Or just wait and have an exciting bit longer break in April away from France!!! The second seems to be a better option.