May 31, 2008

D 'evil' atomist!

I felt like a D’evil’ atomist yesterday! Teased someone so much… In a way it was good to let the devil out and talk about the things which annoys me! Hmm! Now I am trying to put the devil back to sleep! “ Ha! Ha! Ha! I once heard an old French lady shouting ‘Dis Pardon’! Oops! There she is! You can still hear her! oh! boy! I can be so nasty ! Now a days quite often!

May 30, 2008

Back to school!

PhD days, PhD student’s get-together in my university…my university which is miles away from Paris… Spending a day in travelling to and back and listening to day-long lectures of the fellow PhDs! Oops! I am almost brain dead! But the nice part this tiring day is that I got a chance to spend a day in forest! My university is hidden behind these tall trees and greenery, something which we see very little inside Paris! And finally, song of the day in my French class was this one by ‘La compagnie Créole’
a pop group from French speaking Caribbean! Now the question is does this song remind you of any Hindi bollywood song? I am breaking my half dead brain with this question!

May 29, 2008

Sun and Smiles!

Crazy day, I will not go to my work for almost next 10 days, so was running around to finish some last minute stuffs, some boring bureaucracy things etc. etc. moreover got a bad news that I have to pay almost two years arrears in my house rent as my landlord forgot to raise it for last two years, as per the contract it was supposed to be increased every year it seems. So if your house owner forget to increase the rent every year it’s better to remind him otherwise there will be a big looting of our small savings! But end of the exhaustive depressing day I am still in the position to update my blog because two rare things happened...Paris witnessed a beautiful sunny day which added some energy and secondly dinner with three of my favorite friends , a rare combination of crazy friends got together quite accidently. So the evening was filled with laughter and good food! Friends and Food; Sun and Smiles what else should I ask for?

May 26, 2008

Stephen Hawkings!

A very exciting day, had a chance to listen to Stephen Hawking. He came to my institute, even without making any official announcement, the auditorium was overflowing. I sneaked in the crowd using the skills that I developed in India by booking movie tickets, finally I was able to sit right at his foot and listen to his talk, and it was a very simple talk as he was addressing mixed crowd and school audience. A thought provoking statement he made was “does our (human) intelligence gives us a better chance to survive when we compare with the fellow living things like bacteria?” Finally he sat with us to see some exclusive pictures from Mars and Titan. To see this man, who cannot make any voluntary movement of the body, speaks using a computer and voice synthesizer makes us wonder what drives people in science?

May 25, 2008

Working weekend!

A rather quite weekend, heard the travel stories from my friend who is back from his adventurous African trip and rest of the rainy day spent making this; my doctoral school wants us to give a short summary of our work as a poster, I was struggling to summaries my three years work as a tiny poster, but finally I did it!

May 24, 2008

Paris at dawn!

How does Paris look like on a Saturday early morning around 5? People returning back home completely stoned from their Friday late night parties, Concierge of the apartment dragging the big green garbage cans to the road, smell of freshly baking croissants, unfortunately, not much of birds sound but you can feel the metro at your feet in the morning silence, I witnessed it all today, thanks to Swati and her badminton enthusiasm woke me up at late night, with an panic attack with my new unfamiliar mobile ring tone! Ended up reading Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea till morning and with deadlines to keep, strolled to the lab at 5! ok! let me get back to my slides for my next week talk!

May 22, 2008

Café de Flore!

More about my French teacher Mme. Thérèse ROLAND GOSSELIN, yesterday we were asked to talk about the latest book that we are reading and little about the author. Obviously I spoke about my latest crush Jean-Paul Sartre and she recommended me to read Albert Camus, a contemporary of Jean-Paul Sartre. Just did some usual Google search about him and found these lines from his Nobel Banquet speech interesting!( Complete speech!)

And with what feelings could he accept this honour at a time when other writers in Europe, among them the very greatest, are condemned to silence, and even at a time when the country of his birth is going through unending misery?(De quel cœur aussi pouvait-il recevoir cet honneur à l'heure où, en Europe, d'autres écrivains, parmi les plus grands, sont réduits au silence, et dans le temps même où sa terre natale connaît un malheur incessant ?)

And often he who has chosen the fate of the artist because he felt himself to be different soon realizes that he can maintain neither his art nor his difference unless he admits that he is like the others.(Et celui qui, souvent, a choisi son destin d'artiste parce qu'il se sentait différent apprend bien vite qu'il ne nourrira son art, et sa différence, qu'en avouant sa ressemblance avec tous. )

- Albert Camus' speech at the Nobel Banquet

During my Google search, I also found that In spite of Camus and Sartre believed in different philosophies, they often met in Café de Flore for discussions. Café de Flore is my best friend Micha's favourite cafe and he took me there couple of times. We will remember these two great philosophers when we go next time, I wish I can afford to go quite often, hmm! may be not, it should remain a special place for special occasions!

May 21, 2008

La maison d'être!

One thing I am doing very enthusiastically other than meeting friends and eating good food is going to my French class. I never thought I will be so enthusiastic to learn a new language, after 2 years in France, I am still in level one in my French class will show my interest level for languages. Luckily, now I have wonderful teacher !I guess learning grammar is one of the big nightmare in a language, yesterday she made it so much of fun, she taught us about the exceptions of using "être" (to be) instead of "avoir" (to have) in the past tense (Passé compose) ! She made us guess the words by relating it to the actions happening in a house, it is called as La maison d'être! She is cool! I always thought a handsome French man may inspire me to learn French; finally this amazing old French lady did it!
Between, when I was trying to write this entry last night, I was searching for a proverb which is equivalent to a Tamil proverb which goes like “a dying candle burns bright”, to say that I am showing enthusiasm towards French after I started my countdown to leave France! In spite of having a 3 hours long discussion with my friend Ahamarshan, a language genius we were not able to get it! Anyone know a equivalent proverb for "அணைகிற விளக்கு பிரகாசமாய் எரியும்!" ?
(a dying lamp burns bright)?

May 20, 2008


Presentation in my doctoral school, paper deadline and preparation for my next conference with all these things waiting for my immediate attention, since last few days I am getting distracted with unnecessary stuff! Born alone, to be buried alone why do we waste time to get people’s attention?
During the Vedic period, more than 3000 years back in Indian subcontinent there was an educational system called Gurukul, the students stay in the teachers house, work and learn with together! There were very strict rules in the Gurukul like strict time table, meditations, following celibacy etc. The students were put into very hard tests, there are some mythological stories about a student (Ekalavya) sacrificing his thumb for his master etc. Unlike the present days, the student concentration, commitment and thirst for knowledge were tested more than their skills to memorize. There is also a story about a Gurukul where the students were provided with food cooked in bitter oil (castor) and the students who are well concentrated in their studies don’t realize the bitter nature of their meal and the day they get distracted and realize that they are eating bitter meal, they are kicked out of the gurukul! Tough isn’t it? I wish I have at least a fraction of such concentration to finish my PhD!
That is a painting by Suresh Muthukulam, showing a guru(teacher) teaching his disciples in Gurkul!

May 19, 2008

Aesop's Fables!

I recently got stuck with Aesop's Fables and I liked this one!
A snail found a mirror and when she saw how brightly he shone, she fell in love with him. She quickly climbed up onto the mirror's round surface and began to lick him. The snail clearly was no good for the mirror and only besmirched his lustrous radiance with filth and slime. A monkey then found the mirror after it had been dirtied by the snail, and remarked, 'That's what happens when you let someone like that walk all over you!'

May 18, 2008

Thanks Again!

Bad weather, but a delicious pasta party! Had the best home made authentic pasta today .
Thanks again Alberto, your foods light up both thoughts and taste buds!

rainy saturday!

Faced lots of villains yesterday, our usual badminton court was taken over by some partying people and we end up playing in my school garden, it was fun too! It reminded me of my badminton days in India, running with the wind and climbing the trees to get the shuttles cork back etc., this fun didn’t last much, and then came the rain villain! My badminton team standing sadly staring at the rain, hoping to play next week! As the rain stopped we started exploring paris by foot and luckly it was Nuit des Musées, many museums were open till mid night for free! So, we hanged out in museums and bars making it almost closer...infact better than my usual Saturday!

May 17, 2008

Thanks Alberto!

Dear Diary,
I have a new friend for quite some time and never told you about him. Alberto Amato, Italian, more specifically Neapolitan, so it was very easy for him to get integrated in my lab and in my outside Indian friends group! Recently gave me many good suggestion for my confused days, like …”it’s easy to break a relationship but difficult to make one… so think about it before breaking one!” and “nothing wrong in living a bit of adventurous life and to get to know about new people” !Yeah! these words made me meditate on my problems in relationship, me having less courage to meet a new person and showing very less tolerance towards known people and breaking relationships ruthlessly! It’s a part of my ‘future shock’ syndrome! One of my favorite Israeli scientist once told me that psychologically, I may be suffering from this ‘future shock’, since from my childhood I have never lived in a town for more than 3 years, I have the inhibition to talk to new people (with the fear that I have to leave them soon) and at the same time being very less tolerant to them (with the feeling that anyways time will break this relationship soon)! Last few days me and Alberto are feeling bit empty and doing some crazy stuffs to fill up the emptiness! Like doing some new hair style, after my hair cut (Swati ! now you got to know) I spoke to someone I liked in the road etc.etc. Yesterday I was Alberto’s turn; we added some ‘African style knots in his hair’ thanks to our friend Lila and Marc! While Lila made the knots, Marc cooked delicious Belgian curry and Frits for our dinner! Thanks Alberto for being with me in my ups and downs!
PS: Sorry! I should have introduced Alberto as Dr. Alberto Amato; He recently discovered a new species of Diatom (the organisms you saw in my previous blog entry) from gulf of Naples and had the privilege to name it by himself! I would call him a 'real' scientist!

May 16, 2008

k 'phenom'enon

Yesterday back in my favorite Indian restro, I should call it my second home now! It was Praveen, our badminton team captain’s birthday. So the badminton team got together to celebrate it, (vas I am waiting for your photos for my blog) my camera failed me for the first time! Many things happen for the first time in life and many more ‘first time’ things to come and many old things keep repeating in life, yesterday had some adrenaline shots! Now when I woke up was not able to distinguish what is real and what not! When my google search history says 'phenom',‘phenoma’, 'phenomb', 'phenomk' quite often; I might have surprised my friends yesterday, especially Praveen for knowing and yet not knowing me for 8 years! When I can surprise myself everyday … well never say never again! Ok! for Godsake what/who is this Phenom! Well! Phenome is an electron microscope, which can make you see things which is not visible to our naked eyes! For example see this Diatoms, the organism which I am working on looks like this through Phenom! Now Can I look at myself using Phenom? yes!!! I know its so stupid of me to ask such question!

May 15, 2008

let sleeping dogs lie!

During lots of my discussion with Anton one question often pops up, why even very intelligent people with good analytical and reasoning skills fail to see the bitter reality around them! When some of my friends can see all the problems I have but why I do not understand my own problems. I feel most of the time, people don't want to see the reality because they don't know how to react to those problems! so they just keep ignoring the problem and let sleeping dogs lie. Recently I read in a psychology book that when we come across a very bad accident or someone fallen down on the road we see that most of the people around them try to ignore such conditions and only very few people are ready to give a helping hand, we may jump into conclusions that people are self fish, self centered and don't bother to help people etc, but the book says in reality we are just not confident enough to handle such an emergency condition, most of the people who passed by might have seen such condition for the first time and don't know how to react to it!, so they don't want to react to the condition and make things worse! so we just let sleeping dogs lie! In Tamil there is a proverb, We can wake up a person who is sleeping but can not wake up a person who is pretending to sleep! I was exactly doing such a thing and wasted a week!

May 14, 2008

35 years of emotions…

Exactly 35 years before this day a 15 year old young, pretty, intelligent woman got married! It was the time when she didn’t have enough freedom to even see the man whom she is getting married to! We belonging to the very next generation have so much freedom without knowing what to do with it, 99% of women my generation is messing around in her life with this fresh new freedom she got and with so many men to choose ! When this young women was of my age, with compatibility and understanding she developed with her man built a beautiful home with two teenage kids and was beautifully guiding them to face the challenges of life! Today me still trying to learn what all the things I should and should not do with my new freedom from the mistakes me and my friends make, still puzzled about the right place to start my life! Thanks to the values given by this young couple and all the sacrifices they made in life, I am still able to swim in my freedom, without getting drowned! Happy anniversary to my mom and dad! Thanks to your values and your sacrifices, I am surviving my storm of freedom!

May 12, 2008

How on earth..

I bet both men and women cant take their eyes off this!
ps: thanks bala for video! Such things will keep us reminding about the undiscovered mind or body power within us!

Philosophy time!

In our life’s everyday situation sometimes we hear many versions of the same story from different people and we know someone is not speaking the truth and each and every one wants to believe the version which is more convenient and less damaging for them. But what makes people speak lie? Why don’t we have same version of stories all the time from all the people? I was recalling the incidents which make me speak lies, Sometimes I spoke lies in the fear of not to hurt someone I love, like to my mom, sometimes in the fear of not breaking a relationship and sometimes in the fear of public humiliation or disgrace. Can a lie really help us in love, in constructing a relationship or give us a public grace, but in contrary it can take all of the above away from us but still we keep using this tool of lie in our everyday life! I went to Krishnamurthy’s book in search of answer for this! Here is what he has to say about it!

“It is one of the most difficult things in the world to look at anything simply. Because our minds are very complex we have lost the quality of simplicity. I don’t mean simplicity in clothes or food, wearing only a loin cloth or breaking a record fasting or any of that immature nonsense the saints cultivate, but the simplicity that can look directly at things without fear – that can look at ourselves as we actually are without any distortion – to say when we lie we lie, not cover it up or run away from it. Freedom from the Known – 24”

Ok if fear makes us speak lie, why there is fear? He has answer for that too!

“The demand to be safe in relationship inevitably breeds sorrow and fear. This seeking for security is inviting insecurity. Have you ever found security in any of your relationships? Have you? Most of us want the security of loving and being loved, but is there love when each one of us is seeking his own security, his own particular path? We are not loved because we don’t know how to love. Freedom from the Known – 78”

So, may be confidence in oneself will get us off from our insecurities, hence the fear and the lies!

May 10, 2008

Alter ego!

Now a day I am shocking people with my brutally frank comments and opinions, Which made us think how our alter ego look like? we did some experiments in my friend fred’s Indian antique shop! These are some possibilities?
May be this one… Before this our 'Alter ego' research we had our first picnic for the season! Seeing my blogs my friends and family ask me if I am really doing my phd in Paris or just hanging out with friends! Well its summer and it is great to have longer days..lots of time for work and fun! (Swati...I am waiting for your version of today’s masala!)

May 09, 2008

Fiest..1 2 3

Yesterday was a little farewell meeting for two of my friends who are always on wheels, this time they are on their way to Africa and south of France ; it is quite an event when we three get together and talk about their trips, politics etc.etc. I always get to know something new during our meetings and discussion..Well yesterday I got to know about this very impressive Pneumatic mail system, an ancient underground system for the postal service, hope we can one day clear up the roads by putting all the goods transfer underground!

Back to my friends, we three are very different and very rarely our opinions and tastes matches but we believe in Voltaire’ saying,” I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”! Yesterday surprisingly we three agreed on something, we three found this song by Fiest wonderful!

May 07, 2008

In(out) the shadows of siva !

May 7th a very important day in my life! A mother will always cherish the moment when her child learns to walk, few weak yet courageous steps. I took such steps on this day, without having fear of falling in spite of repeated falling; thanks to that courage now I am running towards a healthy life! And such a day happen to fall on the beginning of a long weekend; felt like a Friday evening… hanging out with friends....Hmm!! maybe it’s the first time I am hanging around with my friends in my quarter. Our friend Vas took us to this unique Indian style bar called Coffee India, with real good food and some crazy cocktails! Sitting below the of dancing Siva, we shared some sweet and bitter memories among the friends. As Aldous Huxley says “Every man's memory is his private literature.” And I love to read it out to my friends!

May 04, 2008

Mercury Rising!

Finally! It is time to take off the jackets and sweaters in Paris! It was an unexpected warm day! Nice to see people out of their grey and black over coats and in their colorful outfits! Nice three hours of badminton, and fun filled evening, a nice dinner and an ice cream at midnight, just not to miss the usual cold weather of Paris! I can again say…What a Saturday!

May 03, 2008

Breaking the ice!

Last week I met a new person called Swati , a friend of a friend! Someone who talks like me, giving a topic is like switching on a switch and we can talk for hours together on it, especially about our own life! I feel more intimate with friends when they know more about me and vice versa! And I just discovered that even she has a blog, ok...I added 'Swati's Masala' in the blogs I read menu! Oh! God! My blog inspired her to be regular in her blog, now let me be regular in my blog! Wait! After talking about the similarities now it’s time for differences….She is such a great dancer! I always wanted to dance but never had courage to even touch the dance floor! Last Thursday Swati and our friend DJ VASuHAN gave me courage to put few steps in the dance floor! She broke the ice! Oops! Getting late for my Badminton! Successfully continuing for the third week!

May 02, 2008

30 ans d’emotions!

Last few days I was boiling over small unexpected problems I was facing! The more I suffer over the problem and the way I am reacting to it, more I am able to see the size of my ego and pride! “How can someone cheat me like that?” As Goenka says in the vipassana discourse, (if you have 9 mins to spare! please do listen to his story)! it was just a big blow to the image of me that I created by myself that … I am good in judging people; I am too smart to find out a fake smile etc! It’s time to thank the incident for revealing my ego and pride and to get over it and keep going in life! Today after having the usual thought provoking chats with my friends was strolling back home and was caught by a very beautiful photo exhibition titled “30 ans d’emotions” in the walls of one of Paris’s famous garden, Luxembourg . These photographs made me realize how insignificant I am, my ideas and my pains! May be I have never experienced emotions as intense as conveyed by these photographs! This was one of my favorite one by a French photographer “Jean Guichard” - La Jument!