Friday, December 02, 2005

The Acquaintance

Hello! Is this Miss.Divine?,
Yes it is she said,
I heard the smoothest voice I ever had,
It did not command nor was it submissive,
I was totally mesmerized by the brilliance,
Awestruck by its mysterious charm,
The signals from her brain perfectly interpreted by her vocal cords,
Poured out the intelligence that lay within,
I listened with the keenest of ears,
Is she human? I thought,
No, she is Miss. Divine,
She is my latest acquaintance,
The teacher that sits under the banyan tree,
Is she Buddha incarnate? or is she the perfect answer?
The balance between creation and destruction?
Is this the birth of the cosmic intelligence?
She denies perfection, Humility is her second name,
She worships the indestructible,

Monday, November 21, 2005

Darwin and Vairamuthu

I read this article in newsweek today and wanted to share this with all of you. This is a wonderful article about Darwin and his personal life. The article is aptly titled the evolution of a scientist.
How does Vairamuthu fit in the scheme of things here? What is his relationship with Darwin?

Listen to the audioblog for more...

Saturday, November 12, 2005


It is astounding to see how many people are addicted to blogging and how seriously they take it. I found out about the Chinmayi incident yesterday and was really amazed to see how seriously she had taken an innocent prank and Mr. Narayanans reaction to it. I was also reflecting on how people have responded to the different posts I have written in my blogsite. I had written one on tamil brahmin girls as an experiment. It fetched me a total of 50 comments ( I made a comment into a post). I wrote something about Kubricks 2001 a space odyssey and a handful of them even bothered to read about it leave alone write comments.
There is only one thing to conclude from all this, blogging is an addiction. People get addicted to blogging so much so that they cannot even take simple practical jokes or comments. Unfortunately, controversial, useless posts like the recent one in which I attacked Jo for his intolerance towards Hinduism get more attention. If I were as a cell biologist to blog about science in general people wouldnt even bother to visit my site. I guess people are looking constantly for some kind of controversy.
I just have one request to fellow bloggers. Please do not take blogging too seriously unless it is your profession. Please concentrate on your respective professions or spend more time with your families rather than sit in front of the computer and blog 24 hours. It seems like people have so much of time at their hands. Blogging should be a recreation a fun event! Not something that we need to be constantly afraid of. If you are so conscious about your image then you should rather be anonymous. There is no need to make a mountain out of a mole hill.
Finally, I would also like to thank Jo for the publicity. I like it when people visit and read a blog post fully and comment on it. I would also like to thank you for calling me a "PSEUDO" secularist. I love it because I at least have the word secularist still attached to me. To describe people like you there is just one word brother - "FUNDAMENTALIST". I hope you write a post letting people know that I called you a fundamentalist now and give me more publicity. I love your publicity stunts, you are certainly providing me with new ideas.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


You might all wonder at what AO means! It means abbreviation overkill. I was visiting various blogsites this morning and I saw a lot of abbreviations like IMHO, LMAO, LOL, ROTFL etc. I was so confused at what IMHO was and finally found out that it meant "IN MY HUMBLE OPINION". I searched the internet for such abbreviations and found them in plenty. I find it ridiculous that we have resorted to using such abbreviations and sometimes it can become very difficult to decipher what someone is saying if you do not know what the abbreviations mean just like the title of this post.
For the convenience of the chat jargon illiterate I have included a list of abbreviations that I found in my search this morning (YEAH! seems like I have plenty of time in my hands after going through the ordeal of my comprehensive exams this thursday and friday:P)

As Far As I Can Tell

As Far As I Know

As I Understand It

But Seriously Though

Been There, Done That

See you Later

Do What I Say, Not What I Do

Don't You Just Hate It When

Extended Three Letter Acronym

Face to Face

Friend Of A Friend

For What It's Worth

For Your Information

Go Ahead

Get A Life

Garbage In, Garbage Out

I Am Not A Lawyer

If I Recall Correctly

In My Experience

In My Not-So-Humble Opinion

In My Opinion

In Other Words

In Real Life

It Seems To Me

In The Region Of

It Would Be Nice If

If You See What I Mean

Just A Minute

Keep It Simple, Stupid

Member Of The Opposite Sex

Not A Lot Of People Know That

Oh, I See

On The Other Hand

Over The Top

Read The F****** Manual

Are you OK?

Still In The Dark

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Thanks In Advance

Away From Keyboard

Age? Sex? Location?


Back At Keyboard

Be Back Later

Be seeing you

Be Right Back

By The Way

Frequently Asked Questions

In My Humble Opinion


Laughs Out Loud

Male Or Female?

NM or N/M
Never Mind (or Not Much)

NP or N/P
No Problem

Oh My God

Rolling On (The) Floor, Laughing

Ta Ta For Now

Your / You're


Distorting the english language like this isn't right especially for people like me who do not know the chat jargon. At this rate, I am afraid that we are going to stop using complete sentences. I hope we stop this before it grows and develops into a language of its own.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

"Sen"sitive post!

I read this on Sens blog and felt like writing an open letter to him.

Dear Sen,
I am surprised at this post as this defies all logic. You have taken a point and totally blown it out of proportion. It seems like you must have been drunk when you wrote this, anyway, the support you show for people like Jo is an indicator. The incident that you quote from freedom at midnight can happen in any country ruled by a powerful king. Dont you see examples of such incidents around the world, the answer is very simple. Power corrupts! When one man is king and has so much of authority he sometimes does tend to think that he is god. I am sure that the some of the kings and queens of England must have thought that they were gods, why draw a conclusion from one historical fact? I do agree that our civilization has been backward in terms of scientific development; I would also argue that it is 600 years of colonization by barbarians from the west and the Middle East has left us in shambles.
The British made sure before they left us that they deprived us of most of our natural resources, they took all the valuables that we had accumulated over centuries. We are a very ancient civilization and our practices and culture has withstood the test of 1000s of years. We aren’t the same anymore and there is no need to feel ashamed to be part of such an ancient culture. I agree that the change will come but it will be slow. Remember that what you write here is most likely to hurt people who believe in the rama’s and Krishna’s. I do not believe in any religion but I do believe that there have been great people in India like Buddha who in fact renounced all his material life and searched for inner peace in a society that was full of poor people. He lived among them and showed them the true meaning of life. He was a philosopher and a saint and also someone who lived with the people in their distress and bore it upon himself to deliver them from their ignorance. We have had such wonderful examples of reformers from India. Let us not forget that we have also produced people like Gandhi. I am sure Jo will keep sucking up to whatever you say just because he can attack Hinduism and spread Christianity. If Hinduism is evil so are Christianity and Islam. All religions are equally evil. So do not limit your criticism to Hindus alone please try criticizing the Christians who try their best to convert the innocent man and brain wash him into believing that the only way to salvation is Jesus Christ.
It seems like your criticism is one sided and that you have pretty much given a clean slate to the west which comes up with concepts like intelligent design. I think the purpose of this post has been ill defined by your attack on one particular group of people. You cannot generalize and speculate unless you have concrete evidence and using one particular incident is not enough evidence to question everything you read. You have to also accept that there are regions in India that are severely under developed and where illiteracy and poverty rule. We try and publicize those incidents to the rest of the world but forget our own duties at trying to rectify stuff in our own country. Empty criticism will not suffice, follow it up with action. Action speaks louder than speech. IF YOU CAN FOLLOW UP YOUR WORDS WITH ACTION IT WILL BE WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD. Unfortunately, our blogsites have become a hub for negative criticism. We forget to think positively and find solutions to our problems, instead we sit back and brood on the issue itself which I feel is not healthy. I understand your concern and appreciate your desire for progress but I think that ending on a positive note and acting to promote awareness are the only things that will help our country. We need to mobilize people for the cause, not criticize their beliefs and be antagonists. Lets be agonists and not antagonists!

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Man is something that is to be surpassed.
What have ye done to surpass man?
All beings hitherto have created something beyond themselves:
And ye want to be the ebb of that great tide, and would rather go back to the beast than surpass man? Ye have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is still worm.
Once were ye apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than any of the apes.
Even the wisest among you is only a disharmony and hybrid of plant and phantom.
But do I bid you become phantoms or plants?
Lo, I teach you the Superman!
The Superman is the meaning of the earth.
Let your will say: The Superman SHALL BE the meaning of the earth! I conjure you, my brethren, REMAIN TRUE TO THE EARTH,
and believe not those who speak unto you of superearthly hopes!
Poisoners are they, whether they know it or not.
Despisers of life are they, decaying ones and poisoned ones themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so away with them!"

From the book THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTHRA by Friedrich Nietzsche

Arvind's recent post (Power play!) reminded me of the epic science fiction movie released in 1968: 2001 a space odyssey. The movie was directed by Stanley Kubrick and the story was written by Arthur. C. Clarke. The Story was published as a book in 1969 a full one year after the movie was released. What makes this movie so special? The movie and book were inspired in part by the book “thus spake Zarathusthra” by Friedrich Nietzsche. You might have wondered at why I included those sentences from the book by Nietzsche. Anyone who reads those sentences will realize the power behind them and the truth that they hold; I do not need to take the trouble of explaining them or analyzing them. This is the central theme of the movie “2001 a space odyssey”. A bench mark science fiction film of sorts.

It is a story that for the first time describes artificial intelligence. HAL9000 is a computer controlling a space ship on man’s mission to one of Jupiter’s moons. It becomes artificially intelligent and now begins to consider its human inhabitants as a threat to the mission. It considers itself above everyone else. It tries to annihilate all the inhabitants of the ship but finally succumbs to the simplest of tools that man has invented (a screwdriver!). The deep philosophy behind this movie is not apparent immediately. Many people who watched this movie came out confused not able to fathom what it meant.

I recently came across a website that explains Kubricks fantastic journey in detail.



Wednesday, October 19, 2005


After a post on insomnia the next thing that occurred to me was depression. I felt the need to write about it because depression is a word I am very familiar with, I get depressed very easily. I expect a lot out of myself as well as the people around me. A bad day in the lab, a small misunderstanding anything and everything can trigger me to get into depression. For a person like me depression can wreak havoc and can lead to severe mood swings, it can also affect work. In these three years I have gone through various levels of depression and it used to occur frequently when I was going through a bad phase in the lab. One failed experiment would eventually lead to the other just because in my depressed mood I would miss simple details that I would have otherwise noticed. How does a person like me get rid of depression or deal with it? Counseling is the best option. All universities have a counseling center to help deal with the stress and pressure of everyday graduate life. I was very skeptical when I first went to the counseling center. I did not know what to expect there. After three months of counseling I started feeling much better and less depressed. It worked like a miracle. These days I seldom get into depression, for I have learnt to deal with it.

The best way of dealing with depression is to create a life outside your work place. My worst days of depression were those when I could not take a failed experiment out of my mind or not stop thinking about what I had to do the next day. I was always paranoid on a Sunday night that I might forget to do something important the following day. I have a lot of responsibilities as a graduate student like course work, teaching, research etc. Time management was very important, I have started to use check lists of things to accomplish during the day, and this approach really helps in keeping me organized. During my days of depression I would be so overwhelmed that I would forget to do something invariably and land up in a big mess.

How does one create a life outside the workplace? Stop thinking or ruminating about failures for long periods of time, you are bound to succeed sometime soon. Indulge yourself in your favorite pastime; it can be anything like music, sports, blogging, reading, exercise etc. It surely helps when you are constantly thinking about what is happening at your work place to digress and look at other things. Most often we forget that the world is a place filled with fascinating things and that what we get hung up on aren’t even worth thinking twice about. The key is to relax and enjoy your work. Learn to enjoy your work even if everything you do does not turn up as expected. Life is always full of unexpected twists and turns and like my boss says there is something to be learnt from even failed experiments.

Monday, October 17, 2005


In the deepest confines of my brain,
There lies a mysterious world,
A world not many know of,
But always ask me questions about,
I shrug off their questions and silently walk away,
I keep wide awake waiting for the murmur to end,
The noise increases and reaches a crescendo,
I twist and turn waiting for it to subside,
It seems to be never ending,
Engulfing me in its raves and rants,
Everything seems to be moving at a furious rate,
Pictures of my past zoom by,
My present lost in the confusion,
I lie in wait for sleep to embrace me,
Am I the eternal Insomniac?

Sunday, October 16, 2005


I have been reading various posts of late about intelligent design, god and spirituality in biology. I was pretty riled up on reading this post recently linking intelligent design to biological systems and how everything had to be "designed" inorder to function. I should mention here that I am not against the concept of god, or against people who believe in the concept of god. God is a very sensitive issue in the current world. Different religions advocate different gods and try and justify their case with books that they all claim to be words of god himself. The easiest thing to do is to attribute anything and everything inexplicable to god. This according to me is not god but our own ignorance. The purpose of research in any field of science is not seeking out god, but to seek out how a particular system works and how it might have evolved or find out the different molecular players in its evolution. I still believe that I am not seeking god when I indulge in research. God in my view is a form of energy we sense every day of our lives. It is something that drives us to work towards the questions we ask. I have often wondered at where my motivation comes from, I am sure that it must be from this source of energy called GOD. God is something that we associate with perfection. God is the perpetual motion machine that man has dreamt of building for ages. God in short is an entity which does not conform with any laws of physics, chemistry or biology. How in the world then do we attribute anything and everything in the physical world to god? The enormous imperfections in the "design" of biological systems make a point, they certainly were not "designed". Design is something we associate with god a lot. According to a lot of us, God is the ultimate architect. If he is then he is the most flawed of them all for biological systems are certainly not perfect. We are mere mortals on the face of the earth, if at all we can attribute anything to god it is our will to survive despite all these discrepancies in design and not the design itself. GOD IS PERFECT! AND I SEEK PERFECTION IN MY METHODS NOT IN THE BIOLOGICAL SPECIMEN I STUDY.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

60 minutes on 9MSN

I saw a few incredible clips on 9msn the last few days. I really loved watching them and I wanted to share them with all of you.

Please click on the links to watch the clips

All you wanted to know about Roger Federer in a nutshell. A very interesting short program.

A very moving documentary on the massacre of muslims in Bosnia.

Facts that all of us should know about global warming.

I hope everyone enjoys watching these videos as much as I did.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Of Gandhi's autobiography, comprehensive exams and more...

After an excruciatingly long break I am finally back to my old blogging ways. I can see that the blog world has not changed much over the last two months. These two months have been very interesting. My break started with a trip to Pittsburgh to visit my uncle. I spent the first three days in Pittsburgh helping my uncle unpack and set up his new house.

On the 15th of August I was helping my uncle organize his office in the basement and I came across Gandhi’s autobiography “THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH” (click here to read the book!) in one of his shelves. Gandhi seemed to be peering through his glasses beckoning me to read the book. I started reading the book with some kind of religious fervor, anxious and excited to read about the MAHATMA, the man I have always considered the greatest ever.

Gandhi’s life is an example of how an ordinary man can rise above everything and everyone and embrace immortality for sacrifice and service. Everything that Gandhi did in his life was an experiment. These experiments were carefully planned and their results were carefully analyzed, interpreted and applied (for example: He turned sathyagraha one of his experiments into a weapon against the British).

I felt like writing about the book because Gandhi remains relevant even today. The part I enjoyed reading the most was about Gandhi’s formative years. He talks in great length about his marriage to Kasturba and the difficulty he had in controlling his “carnal desire” during the early days of his marriage and the drawbacks of child marriage (he was only 13 when he married Kasturba). It is interesting to know that Gandhi who had over 400 million followers had a very bad personal life. His eldest son left him because of personal differences and yet Gandhi remained unmoved in his quest for the truth. It is hard to imagine a man fighting for Independence in the midst of a personal crisis. He was very focused in his goals, and human service came first before everything else. It is a pity that his name has been tarnished and the likes of Godse are being worshipped in some parts of India. Gandhi’s life in England and South Africa played a big role in making him the politician he was. Some of you might argue that “GANDHI WAS NEVER A POLITICIAN!!”

Well if Gandhi was never a politician who is a politician? Gandhi might have never held public office but was well and truly a member of the Indian National Congress. Gandhi was perhaps the best example of an ideal politician. Gandhi’s autobiography is a must read for every human being on earth (at the least all Indians should read it).

I returned to DC after the short trip to Pittsburgh rejuvenated to face the challenges of my current semester. The semester started with a bang with a series of experiments to be performed for the paper I have been long waiting to publish. The experiments kept on failing till last week when I finally got the results I wanted.
I had a viva voce today and my comprehensive examination committee bombarded me with questions for 1 hr and 15 minutes until my brain froze. After a lot of deliberations they finally decided that I could take my written examination on the 27th of October. I guess I am back to blogging sooner than I ever thought I would. I am going to take another break in December when I head to San Francisco for the American Society for Cell Biology annual meeting.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Proposal rejected! Dejected Robbie takes a break!

My dear blogger friends,

The four months of summer have gone by like a breeze. It seems like I was forlorn and dejected just yesterday, but today I am brimming with confidence ready to take my career head on. I am unfortunately (or fortunately for some of you who detest this “RAANGI”) going to have to stop my blogging activities for a while. I do not know how long this is going to be. I am going to Pittsburgh tomorrow and I will be back a week later, I will keep visiting all your blogs, but don't think I will have time to write anything. I have a busy semester coming up; teaching, studying and research will become my full time occupation. I hope to keep in touch with all of you wonderful people someway or the other. I might sneak in a post or two in-between so do keep checking back.
Orange pixel happens to be my apartment mate and she paints really well, do visit her site often and leave your valuable comments.
I hope to catch you guys sometime soon.
Thank you very much for inspiring me to write,

Thursday, August 11, 2005


picture courtesy:
Eyebrows black, eyes deep set,
A beautiful smile rides her cheeks,
Her nose an abberation,
Lips that soothe the imperfection,
Tresses of hair that mystify,
a neck that begs to be kissed,
In totality...
A Poetry in motion,
Will you be mine?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


I got inspired to post this after reading cosmic blobs post on the universal binding factor (click here to read blob's post). I caught this tiger in action when I visited the national zoo here in Washington DC a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Remembering appa...

August 8 1992 will be etched in my memory forever. It was the day I lost my guiding light, my idol and mentor- my grandfather. Ever since my mother gave birth to me, on that fateful day in 1978 it has been my grandparents and aunts who have brought me up. I was left with my grandparents because of a complication I developed to the BCG vaccine. I had a big boil in my left armpit and my parents could not take me with them to Calcutta. My mother left me with her parents hoping to come back and take me with her in a year. For nearly a year I was rendered immobile by the boil in my armpit, nobody could lift me or carry me around; my grandmother tells me that I used to cry all the time because of the pain. My boil finally broke and hell broke loose. I was a very naughty child, breaking and smashing everything that was in my way. My grandparents and aunts got very attached to this incredibly naughty child.

When my mother came back after a year to take me back, my grandfather told her that he would bring me up as his 11th child (my grand mom bore 7 daughters and 3 sons). After a lot of deliberation my mother finally gave in to his requests and left me behind in Salem. I called my grandfather appa and my grandmother amma. They were my parents. To this day I have never felt like calling my biological parents as amma and appa.

My grandfather was a very charming, sweet and an incredibly wise man. He recognized the evils of caste system and treated everyone equally. I observed him with great interest in my formative years. Everyone seemed to respect him so much. My grand mom used to tell me stories of how my grandfather would occasionally eat meat on social occasions with his Muslim friends. He spoilt me with the best chocolates in town. He never forgot to get me chocolates when he came back from work.

My grandfather was a mining engineer. The entire household would be up and awake at 4 AM! He used to leave for work at 5, my grand mom would wake up at 3 AM every day to make him a delicious breakfast and pack his lunch before he left. My grandfather was my alarm clock; he would kick me out of bed, before school. By the time I reached my 3rd grade he had retired from his work and his full time job was to get me ready to school. My school started very early and he would keep yelling my name at 5:15, I would keep tossing and turning in my bed acting like I never heard him. He would finally lose patience at 5:30 and give me a big kick! I swear he would kick me out of bed literally. After kicking me out of bed he would go straight to the kitchen to help my grand mom, cutting all the vegetables for her while she bickered about “issues” or complain about some mischief I did the previous day. I would go to the kitchen after brushing my teeth still half asleep and lie down on his lap immediately. He would cool my steaming cup of “maltova” down while I slept a little bit extra on his cozy lap.

I will never forget the advice my grandfather gave me when my father took me to Coimbatore for the sacred thread ceremony. I detested the idea of wearing a sacred thread and was fighting with my father, telling him that I would never attend the ceremony. My grandfather took me aside and told me that I could remove it as soon as I came back home ( I never went back to my parents, they used to visit me once in a while and suddenly tell me that I had to come with them for such ceremonies, I always disliked my father because of such things).

I also cannot forget Thursdays, for it was saibaba day and my grandmother used to make delicious sweets as prasadam. On one such Thursday my grandfather gave me a beautiful surprise. I was in my 7th grade then and was involved in a number of cycling expeditions in and around Salem. I was using my uncle’s old bike then, it was nearing its death and cycling was becoming a pain. It was a Thursday morning and I was leaving to school on my rotten bike, my grandfather stopped me and asked me to show him my bike. He took all the time in the world to have a close look at it and then suddenly realizing that time was ticking by, sent me packing to school. I came back home after school tired and excited to find out what my grand mom had made as prasadam. My grandfather was waiting for me at the gate, he told me that my grand mom had made delicious gulab jamoon and that I had to wait outside till she finished making it. I was surprised at this because I was never stopped outside the house for something like a gulab jamoon, I pushed my grandfather aside and ran into the house straight to the pooja room, there in front of me stood a brand new all terrain bike. I was yelping with joy, hugging and kissing my poor grandfather, nearly strangling him.

I want to end here before I break down remembering the last few years he was with me. Those memories will never fade. I was in my 10th grade when he left me forever.
Appa, I don't know where you went, or where you are, but I will always have you in my heart...
I love you pa...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Is this bliss...?

pic courtesy
I can’t get enough of it I thought,
Will I get another day?
Another minute, another second,
Just looking at her beautiful face,

Sadness dwelled in her laughter,
Lines that remain from days of sorrow,
Does she realize that I am admiring her?
Maybe...but it doesn’t matter.

It’s this moment that everyone wants,
A moment to relish the rest of our lives,
When a song about stars made her smile,
It doesn’t take much effort to smile does it?


pic courtesy
I think its time I write about one blogsite I love to visit more than any other in recent times. It is Swahilya's blog. It is a pity that not many people visit her site and enjoy her succint well thought out posts. Let me try my best to describe her blog site. She writes about anything and everything but with a spiritual bent of mind. I know that I have raised a few eyebrows here by calling a spiritual blog my favorite despite my strong inclination towards science. Every time I visit her blogsite I come out having learned something or the other. Many a times I have personally requested her to write on different topics and she obliged every single time. I will run out of superlatives if I try to describe her writing style. I request all of you visiting my site to also visit hers. I would like to include a sample post from her blogsite. I had requested her to write on "HARNESSING THE MIND" a few days back and this is what she wrote...
Harnessing ...the Mind
The Mind. Man. Manas. Manu. Manidan. Manushan. Manush. Manisha. Manishi. Mansi, Mana or even Manam Pochu! It's an ocean in which we live and die. Just as fish are born in water and die and are again born and die. Man is born in the ocean of the mind and the cycle continues...till he gets out of it into the quiet expanse of stillness.In Manikkavasagar's Tiruvasagam, now made famous by Ilaiaraja, there is a beautiful verse: Pullagi, Poondagi, Puzhuvagi, Maramagi, Palvirugangalagi, Paravaiyai, Pambagi...vallasurar agi, Munivarai, Devarai...ella pirappum pirandilaithen. more...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Kavya's reply to Tamil Brahmin guys!

I woke up at 4:00AM and found this reply to my previous post. I loved it so much that I decided to make it a separate post:P.
Thanks Kavya!
I got such a comment for my previous post when it was meant to defend women:P.
hey robbie,
ni santhya vanthanam panriya...ella la:) ioio solra madri kulikarthey ellai....ponnunga mattum (brahmin) ennum daily thala kulichutu...kousalya supraja nu thulasi madatha suthi varuvangala....nenapu than non veg sapdrathu ellaya...ponnunga sapta enna thappu...Excuse me...mothalla ni kalyana anathu aprom..pakathu vittu ponna site adikama eru...aprom talk abt infidelity...R u a virgin.??????????ask u r friends too...i know a lot of brahmin guys who goes to strip anonymous pointed out...Last this post is senseless please remove this and ask apology to all the brahmin girls...onakku goal ellati free a u said mothalla onna clean panikko....u made me angry at 4:00 AMKavya

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Conversation about Tamil Brahmin girls!

pic courtesy:
Seems like I have been posting some very depressing poetry the last few days and for a change people want me write something light. Since, I am not a natural at cracking witty jokes, forgive me for what I am about to write might particularly not vibe well with feminists.
Recently I was in conversation about a hot topic with two other friends of mine, whose identities I do not prefer to reveal at this time. Remember, I was the one who wrote about anonymity? Okay! Before any of you decide to guess what the discussion was about, let me confess that it was about women and in particular Brahmin women.
What was the context?
Well, according to my friends Brahmin women these days are very sexually liberated, and that they in their blog sites discuss everything from how they started their day to how they ended their day including intricate details about how they made their sambars or their rasams. The other complaints were as follows
1.Brahmin women do not want to marry Brahmin men anymore they prefer macho “nonbrahmin” men.
2.Brahmin women have a craving for anything “nonbrahminical” including non vegetarian
3.Brahmin women do not follow the age old religious rituals or customs anymore
4.Infidelity is on an increase with Brahmin women
5.One cannot be sure if a Brahmin woman is a virgin or not before marriage.

I couldn’t help laughing at all this, I was wondering about how cheap we have all become to discuss women in such vein (I include myself in this category). I was born a Brahmin but I never had it as a goal to marry a Brahmin woman. My brother who was brought up by my parents with the most orthodox habits fell in love and married a “nonbrahmin” girl and he doesn’t regret it one bit. I wonder why we (the Brahmin community) separate ourselves from the other communities. I am sure many of you have counter arguments for this, but I can only look to clean my house before I point a finger at anyone else’s cleanliness.
Finally, I would like to include a very humorous post written by Raagarupini , Hope she won’t mind me publicizing her post.

Of astrology,the best homosexual couple I've seen and Chennai that makes for a pretty mismatched title huh?Now,I just met these two guys who hail from my native in interior TN.Both middle-aged.Pretty typical conservative types.One is an astrologer S who promptly saw my jadagam (horoscope) and proclaimed that I was a caring,considering person who trusts people a tad too easily.No prizes for that Einsteinian prediction.But he did tell me that I will not lack for anything.Yeah well,is that a hint that I'm waaay too spoiled?I think so.First my parents,now my man.S says "aval amoham aa irupall.Avaluku enna kurachal".Can't translate that.Just means I will live a pretty decent life.The other guy C has a girlish voice and sells sarees and jewellery from home.He cracks amazingly funny jokes in Tamizh with a rod straight face.Kinda like Will and Jack from Will and Grace.But the difference is ,these guys are a couple.And they have been so from their days as youngsters.Even when they lived in the native (village!).And no one dares to question their relationship too.I don't know whether it's because no one thought of it that way or because both of them just don't give a damn.But it works.Very beautifully .Or so my mother says.Ah, now coming to Chennai ,where I moved recently-it's hot,it's humid,I have no air-conditioning at home (ancient house,rewiring will cost a bomb) and my PC is well,a Piece of Crap.It goes off promptly if I try to attempt any activity that goes on for more than fifteen minutes.Let's hope I can fix that.But, one thing I noticed and something we were told in our orientation course in college is that the traffic is miserable.No no,let's not talk about any other metros for now.B'lore even when I travelled recently has some lanes in residential areas especially where there is some semblance of calm.Bombay is raucous but it's four wheelers mostly.In Chennai-it's two wheelers,cars,buses,lorries.Everything that can move seems to be on the road!And on every possible lane.Not even the gullies in remote residential areas are spared.And the reason I know what I'm saying is right is because, -as the historian who lectured today pointed out,- most of the city's development was over within a certain span during the Raj.After that,a lot of expansion happened internally,as opposed to other cities where suburbs developed substantially.This has created a lot of hungaama in the heart of the city.The suburbs have caught up but much of the damage has been done internally.Let's not even get started on the lack of proper water supply.But actually,in toto,it's pretty decent.Home is on a main road.A tad noisy but I have every facility nearby.I have my two wheeler to cover short distances.The buses are bad but with a little juggling between auto,bus and my scooty I will do fine.But the acme of my ten month stay in Chennai will most definitely be college.I loved the place and my course and everything about it.Plus,doing journo and that too broadcast journo in a city with this much history will be a pleasure.I hope to be a busy busy lady. :)As always I look forward to this new chapter with childish inquisitivity,zeal and lots of joie de vivre.Only thing is,as per that guy S's predictions I will be married by next year.:D

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Frozen memories...

picture courtesy:
It was a dark autumn night,
The leaves had dried out,
A silent wind blew in the cool breeze,
The birds were sleeping in the warmth of their nest,
A distant sound was sweeping in,
An owl crept close to my window,
It put its ear on the glass as if eavesdropping,
Its dark eyes peered into my room,
I opened the window
It didn't move
I was surprised at its ignorance,
It was looking past me into the emptiness that surrounded me,
Tears seemed pouring from its expressive eyes,
It suddenly flapped its wings and took off shrieking loudly,
I turned around and looked at the blur which was now clear,
A beautiful apparition was there in front of me
I gasped for breath suffocated by the sight,
She stared at me in bewilderment,
Walked up to me and whispered those words into my ears,
My brain froze as if in a coma,
Searing pain shook my limbs,
Lightening struck and lit up the darkest patch of dry land,
It was the beginning of a silent storm of...

Friday, July 29, 2005

A Moment in Time...

The week, it seems, has passed by in a flash. It was supposed to be the toughest week of my graduate career, an abstract to submit to the American society for Cell Biology (ASCB), a lab presentation and numerous experiments were waiting for me at the beginning of the week. On Monday, I was thinking to myself that if I came out of this one unscathed, I will survive anything. But as days of the week rolled by, I realized that all the weekends I had spent in the lab before this really did not go waste. I managed to finish scripting my abstract, successfully put together a slick presentation and finished my pending experiments. I feel like I have achieved so much in just one week. Just three weeks ago, things were looking bleak for me. For two months of trying hard to get in foreign DNA into the cell type I was working with, I had absolutely no success. There is nothing worse than not getting results in the laboratory and to compound it I would forget the simplest of things I needed to do. I was an epitome of disorganization. My desk in the lab would be filled with piles of paper scattered all over and I would go crazy trying to comprehend where I had just put away something. My boss was losing faith in my research skills; my interactions with her were limited to discussing my failures. The ASCB abstract deadline was fast approaching. I had three weeks left for the deadline, and she was wondering if I would make it to the meetings this time. My other lab mates each had a nicely written abstract and were waving it in front of me to compound matters. I nearly broke down that day; I was contemplating ending my career in research there and then. Then the moment suddenly seized me, I cannot exactly describe what it was, it was a moment that completely changed things around for me, an idea that had not occurred to me for the last 3 months suddenly popped up. I took an hour to put together a master plan and asked my boss for an appointment. She seemed to have assumed that the meeting was to discuss another failed experiment. I walked into her room and put the paper with my ideas scribbled in the worst handwriting of all time on her table. She had one long hard look at it and said “I knew this is what you had to do all along, I was just waiting for you to come up with it on your own”. I had this feeling of being in a sinking boat “she knew it but she didn’t tell me?” I started to implement my “plan” immediately. From that moment success was the buzz word. Experiment after experiment yielded good results and my hypothesis was looking good. When I was writing my abstract finally this week, I felt like I might just break down thinking about the times I went through to get to that stage. I understood the real meaning of my boss’s words, she wanted me to come up with the idea, be self reliant and I am very grateful for having someone like that as my mentor. It has been three months since I started blogging. I started to blog basically to forget about my problems in the lab. I could focus on other aspects of my life when I blogged, I no longer had to just think about life in the lab. It helped me take life easy during tough times. The DC bloggers meet was also a blessing in disguise, I met so many wonderful people there and I could relax my mind and not worry about the things I was going through. I cannot forget the people who have been there for me always, the only people I can call “family” in DC-Ganesh and his wife. Ganesh is infact my friends cousin and I met him when she had visited DC two years ago. We have become the best of friends since then. I cannot remember one weekend when Ganesh and his wife have not invited me to their place. His wife would cook delicious food and also pack some food for me. I have always wondered if I deserved such special treatment from them. I always keep pulling Ganesh’s legs but he never complains, he remains one of my best friends. Thank you Ganesh, I couldn’t think of a better opportunity to thank you. This has been a very successful week and I will sleep peacefully tonight having unloaded all my thoughts.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

She leaves me breathless...

picture courtesy
The clock just struck 12
I tiptoed out of my room Into hers...
There she lay like an aphrodite
waiting for my arrival
I swooped her into my arms
and placed a kiss on her lips,
She swayed and gasped
I couldn't stop kissing,
I saw her crimson frame in the darkness
Her face radiated a brilliant blue
I saw her eyes closed, arms outstretched
A picture of beauty
as she lay on the bed
I took her lips into mine,
My neurons fired a salvo...
I gasped in relief,
Fell into her arms,
We left our past in the passion,
Will our lives get salvation?

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Terrorist

picture courtesy:
Disclaimer: This story is purely my imagination and any resemblance to any individual living or dead is sheer coincidence.
He opened his eyes and was welcomed by the warm rays of the early morning sun pouring into his room through his Venetian blinds. His anxiety grew as he looked at his watch; it was 9:00AM. He was late for work, again. He washed his face and scrambled around his bathroom looking for the mouthwash. After what seemed an eternity he finally found it. He finished his ablutions and finally got ready for work. A copy of the Koran was waiting for him in the hallway. He knelt down to his knees and prayed hard to Allah. It was his first prayer of the day; he had to do it five times each day. He remembered his mother telling him as a child the importance of seeking god’s blessings before he left home.
He had to reach central London. His mother would be waiting for him; she had something important to give him. He went down the subway and waited anxiously for the train. He did not notice the whirring sound of the closed circuit cameras. They were taking pictures of him. The train approached and he was soon traveling at god speed to central London. I will be there by 9:45 he thought. Allah! It’s been so long since I saw mother. She must be looking out for me. 9:45AM: a thunderous blast shook the tube station, shards of glass and debris hit him hard, he was thrown yards away by the impact of explosion, before he breathed his last, he remembered his mothers last words, “mein tumhare liye intezaar karoongi beta” (I will wait for you).
The news paper next day carried his face on the first page and below his picture was the caption “suspected suicide bomber…”

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Random thoughts...

picture courtesy

She was asleep...
It was a breathtaking sight,
The silhouette of beauty,
It turned and spoke,
A distant buzz swept in,
The speech subsided,
It was listening...
The winds picked up speed,
It started to pour heavily,
Water covered the land,
The seas ruled over mountains,
Extinction ruled the earth.
The buzzing stopped,
There was silence in the air,
I could hear her breathe,
A marvel of science,
She survived!
She was asleep...

Saturday, July 16, 2005


an·o·nym·i·ty ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-nm-t) n. pl. an·o·nym·i·ties The quality or state of being unknown or unacknowledged.
I was thinking about a subject to write about and recent conversations with friends came to my mind immediately. They all involved comments from anonymous people and how people could get away with what they said just because they were anonymous. In reality, we all live anonymous lives. There are certain aspects of our life that are totally anonymous to people who are very close to us. But, I am not going to analyze anonymity of that sort or anonymity on the internet. The purpose of this post is to try and look at anonymity with a very different perspective, something people have not written about in the past(or I hope). Anonymity is a boon as well as a curse for many people across this planet. So what if someone is anonymous? What are the advantages/disadvantages?
To answer these questions, I will have to go back in time to beginning of mans reign on earth. When man evolved, there were many reasons for him to be anonymous; predators, environmental factors and the fear of meeting other humans were reasons enough.
A human being even though termed a social animal is probably the most individualistic of all creatures on earth. Like Richard Dawkins writes in his book “THE SELFISH GENE”, altruistic individuals have a slim chance for survival. His argument is based on the following, imagine a population of altruistic individuals with just one selfish individual. The selfish individual thrives on the altruistic ones and enhances his chances of survival, while they put their lives on line. In this case the selfish individual is totally anonymous; the others do not recognize him. This is nature’s irony according to Richard Dawkins, but can this in principle apply to truly altruistic humans?
Human beings on the other hand have the power to convert selfish individuals to altruistic ones (there are many examples of this phenomenon, the conversion rate might be poor but the resolve to altruistic thoughts increases exponentially with each converted individual).What is the connection between altruism, selfishness and anonymity?
Anonymity is an altruistic behavior, where the quality of state of being is unknown. In a truly altruistic society, everyone is anonymous; there is no place for acknowledgement of an individual’s effort.
The curiosity for the anonymous has always lead human beings to great inventions and discoveries. It is this quest to unveil the mysteries of earth, which has lead man to destroy earth. Anonymity for the earth has been a curse, and for Man a boon in disguise. Man’s social behavior is also very heavily influenced by his curiosity for the unknown. All of what Man has invented including God, science and religion are all influenced by his curiosity for the unknown. I hope I have confused everyone enough. After all, like my friend says, if you cannot convince, at least confuse:)
p.s. I welcome anonymous, controversial comments for this post:P

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Christina Rosenthal

This is my effort to simplify Archer's greatest short story...
Christina Rosenthal: A short story from Jeffrey Archer’s ‘TWIST IN THE TALE’
She came into his life like a breeze, taunted him, teased him and showed him heaven. He was in bliss, shocked at the unmeasured love she showered upon him. Everything just seemed right, he proposed to her, she said she wanted to marry him and all of a sudden one fine day she left him. Her parents forced her to leave him; she married her parent’s choice while she bore his kid in her womb. He was devastated, sank into the deepest realms of depression. He worked harder and harder, got every award, every scholarship and earned every accolade that life could offer him. Yet, he was so lonely and dismal, for her love haunted him. He would sleep with every girl he desired, but they were just objects of lust, love wasn’t an emotion he could associate with these objects of desire. He felt an abyss building inside him, his loneliness compounded by his social status.
He saw her again, many years later, crossing the streets, his son besides her walking into a cosmetic store. Life took another turn at him; she left her husband to come back to him. He got her back but lost his son to her former husband. Love bloomed for him again; she was finally there for him, right next to him, where she always belonged. His happiness hit the roof as she became pregnant again. On the day of her pregnancy, he paced anxiously to and fro at the hospital. The doctor opened the door and informed him that Christina was dead and that the child was still born and that she had been warned about consequences of her pregnancy. Lost in desperation, with the love of his life dead, he killed himself...

Monday, July 11, 2005


The little boy in this picture is an orphan...
I was reading through Swahilya's recent post and I was moved into writing something about this very serious issue. Whenever I hear an orphan story, I feel that urge to do my bit to the society. I cannot believe that there are so many orphans on planet earth when there are so many people that can take care of them. We even name receptors in biology as orphans if there are no recognizable ligands that activate them. This could have happened to any of us, but we are all so incredibly lucky and can do something to help this cause.
How can we help as human beings? I have two aunts in Salem who have dedicated their entire lives to social service. They run a school for the poor children in our neighborhood. They teach them about the basics of living life and civics. I also teach them for a few days whenever I visit India. Interacting with those kids was a very special thing for me. The love and devotion that they show is just mind blowing. I was teaching them about various diseases and how they are transmitted and about prophylaxis just before the day I came back to the US, and one little boy stood up and asked me “Anna neenga ponapporam edhellam engalukku yaar solli thara pora?” (brother, who is going to teach us all this after you leave?). I just hung my head in shame after that; I did not know what to reply to that kid. I still do not know the answer. My heart is all set to go home and teach these poor children, but my mind is hell bent on staying here and finishing my education. Is it possible that I can stay here and do something about what is going on in India? Do I leave the past behind me and forget about these kids? Do I only listen to my mind and pursue a career in academics?
How many times have I thought about such things? How many times have I written about it? This is just the beginning…
I just felt like sharing this poem I wrote quite a while back. I felt that it reflected the mood I am in right now.
Eternal Slumber
I was searching
I couldnt find it
I ventured deeper inside
It was all darkness
I searched in vain
It seemed to be there
It dissappeared
I pondered deeper
My tunnel of darkness lit up
like a beacon of hope
It lingered in my heart
Is this my answer?
Time alone will tell
For at the end of the tunnel
There lies eternal darkness
Surrounded by the mysteries of the world
The question still lingers,
While I immerse in eternal slumber...

Sunday, July 10, 2005


As most of you visiting this doggone blog know, we had the DC indibloggers meet yesterday. It was three hours of clean, pure fun. I haven’t had such a time since my college days. Since, both thennavan and Arvind have described most of what happened yesterday, I will introduce you to the DC indiblogger gang that met yesterday.


THENNAVAN: The oldest blogger in the meet and our gang leader. He came in a clean white dhoti and kurta. He wanted to be the odd one out and seemed to be very proud of his Indian heritage. There is a lot one can learn from this man. He is a very simple, charming and disciplined individual. He reminded me a lot of my elder brother. He has been in the United States for 11 years now (correct me if I am wrong, brother) and is still very much retains his Indian ness. In my conversation with him yesterday, I learned that he never has the Monday morning blues anymore (I wish I were him) and that he enjoys his job a lot (They apparently let him blog from work!!) Thennavan is the diplomatic types, he is about 6 ft tall but very soft natured. He is also an incredibly spiritual human, in peace with his surroundings. It seemed to me that I could deprive him of all his wealth and he would probably have shrugged it off and carried on with life. Extremely cool guy!! He seemed to be so much at ease with all of us yesterday. Thank you for the great time brother!

GANESH or KK NAGAR KIRUKKAN: Ganesh was the only married man in the meet. He has also been my friend for the last three years. Ganesh is a very charming guy. He exudes confidence in everything he does. He involves himself with whatever he does. He is extremely talented, and loves music. I have not met another person who is so readily approachable. He is the type of guy you can just walk up to and shake hands with. He believes in Sanathana Dharma and is a spiritually inclined guy (If you don’t know the meaning ask ganesh, he loves explaining).He was mostly the centre of our leg pulling activities yesterday and he so very graciously took all of it in his stride. Hats off to you bro!!! You are my best friend in DC and I will never forget the times we have had together. I thank you for all the great times I have had in DC, and for the unforgettable memories of fall 2002.

SENTHIL: The first time I ever met this guy I was afraid that he would shoot me, coz I had commented some nasty things about malayali movies in his blog. Luckily for me Senthil turned out to be a gentleman. He is an imposing figure, over 6 feet tall and with a small goatee French beard. Senthil always seems to be lost in thought. Once you get him into an argument it is difficult to get out of it without conceding to his point. He is a very strong character and lives his life outside the box (Senthil’s favorite word). He is the walking encyclopedia of the rare breed of Indian cinema. In the numerous conversations I have had with him, he came across as a very cerebral individual. If you ever want to listen to old Mallu songs (especially sung by K.J.J) ask Senthil for his choice. He will hit you with the best songs available. He also seems to be a very good judge of character. Overall, an incredibly nice guy!

RAMAN: I don’t know how old he is but from now on I guess its guys who are below their 30’s. Raman is a bespectacled, tall, cerebral looking person. He doesn’t speak a lot, but when he does he can take you by surprise with his in depth analysis of a situation. I haven’t had many conversations with him to write too much about him but he seems to be the quiet types. Reading his recent blogs make me feel that he is a very rational and a very technically savvy individual. Ram exudes a quiet confidence and his presence in the meet yesterday was a blessing in disguise (coz me and Arvind were making a lot of noise). Was very nice meeting you yesterday dude!! Hope to know more about you.

SIVA: If someone was bubbly and full of energy yesterday it has to be him. He came to the meet with Raman and Eshwar and immediately made his presence felt with his bubbly nature. I visited his blog for the first time today and he seems to be lost in his past. He writes pretty well and has a very subtle sense of humor (pst.. pst… that babe in your post she’s awesome dude!!).

ESHWAR: This guy loves to write about politics and books. I read his recent posts and wondered why I had not visited his site earlier. A very quiet guy by nature and very friendly. He was one of the few quiet ones yesterday along with Ram. I guess he was having fun watching it all happen. I seriously wish I would get to know him more. His blogs have now made me wonder if I met the “REAL” Eshwar yesterday.

ARVIND: Finally, introducing the “I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE WORLD” Arvind. He is the kind of guy who would just get out and do his thing an incredibly stubborn guy:P. He was the biggest social animal of us all yesterday. He has a sound knowledge of music and is not afraid of flaunting it (he should seriously think about a career in singing… what a voice!! I am sure ganesh and senthil would agree:p , just kidding dude!). Like Senthil told me yesterday, Arvind was probably an example of diplomacy and he is a very multi dimensional personality. He has terrific control over his vices for his age and I should say that I was very impressed when I first met him.

I am glad that I met all these guys yesterday. Don’t you guys reading it feel like you missed meeting these great people?
Gotta gear up for the week ahead…damnit!!! Tomorrow is Monday!!!!

Monday, July 04, 2005

HOLY COW!! its Roger “Fede(fuh)rer” and Venus “Will(to win)iams”

This weekend I witnessed two incredibly talented players scale the Mount Everest of Tennis for the third time. On Saturday it was Venus who fought the odds to win against Lindsey Davenport. Davenport was the number one seed at Wimbledon and had a 14-12 career record against Venus. Venus had all the odds to beat. She was returning from an injury and had to prove that she could compete in grand slam events again. She was relegated to number 14 in the Wimbledon rankings despite having won the championships twice. In addition to all this she had a tough draw which included a face off with the defending champion Maria Sharapova. To come out and win the championships this year was a tall order for Venus and she somehow beat the odds this Saturday and made it happen all over again. The Venus vs. Davenport match was the longest women’s singles match ever played in the history of Wimbledon. The match lasted 2 hrs and 35 mins beating the existing record of 2 hrs and 28 mins. It was a war of attrition between two of contemporary tennis’s finest. Every point was fought with vigor by both players. There was little to choose between these two, but in the end Venus’s superior physical fitness paid off. I felt bad for Davenport for this might be the last ever Wimbledon finals she might feature in ( she won in 1999) and considering that she hurt her lower back again during the finals it is very doubtful if she will play at this level ever again.
Yesterdays match on the other hand was one of the most lopsided finals I have seen at Wimbledon. Roger Federer destroyed Andy Roddick in one of the best displays of tennis I have ever seen. McEnroe calls Federer the most complete player he has ever seen play tennis. Federer had his complete array of shots on display on Sunday, he volleyed, hit passing shots with his forehand and backhand and served better than Roddick. Federer hit a total of 49 winners compared to Roddick’s paltry 19.He hit almost equal number of forehand and backhand winners. He played from the baseline as well as the net. He did not leave any part of the court uncovered. If Roddick served well, Federer served better, if Roddick hits his forehands hard, Federers forehand replies stung harder, if Roddick volleyed, Federer answered with passing shots cross court or down the lines. Federer was simply unstoppable. Federer might not equal Sampras’s achievement, but he is a more complete player than Sampras ever was. Federer’s all court game has earned him the tag of Mr. Perfect. He has no weaknesses. He has the world record of winning 21 consecutive finals. Federer also varies his playing style every year. In 2003 he won it from the net, in 2004 he stayed back and played from the baseline this year he mixed it up. This leaves his rivals wondering about what his strategy is going to be in the future. He has lost only 3 matches this year and won 58 (won 96% of his matches).
Is he the best ever?I strongly feel that he is but arguements are welcome.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Religiously Yours

After a hard days work there is nothing more enthralling than looking at results in the laboratory. I finally got results after two hard grinding unforgiving months. I was wondering about what I should write on my blog site and a conversation I had with a friend of mine suddenly popped out. The conversation was about spirituality, faith and science. My friend is a devout Christian, the bible is his guide and he leads his life according to the Ten Commandments god handed out to Moses on Mount Sinai more than two thousand years ago.
I am exactly the opposite, though brought up in an orthodox Hindu Brahmin family; I completely hate to be associated with any caste or religion. I remember the days when I was recognized by my caste. These days, I am recognized by the country I am from, another form of discrimination. I have never understood religion or caste or what attracts people towards them. I have always been an ardent science fan, and try hard to find a logical explanation to what nature has bestowed the world with. But, I am not an atheist. I believe in god. I believe that there is a higher energy that pervades the universe that will certainly not fall in confines of a scientific explanation. I do not believe in using religion to separate myself from the rest of human civilization.
It is very perplexing that there are so many religions in the world with such ardent followers for each of them. Which one of these jokers is right? Why should we follow any religion at all? Should our lives be decided by our religious beliefs? Should religion determine an individual’s morality? Should religion determine marriages or sexual union of two human beings?
We live in a scientific age. Our life spans have increased two fold or greater just in the past two hundred years. We are at the peak of scientific achievement. We have left our barbaric past behind us and are moving together as a species towards a more peaceful world (at least the majority of us are I hope!). In this day and age what is most important is not caste or religion. What is important is compassion for the fellow human beings. I remember a song by Phil Collins that moves me every time I hear it… “She calls out to the man on the street, sir can you help me?” I might sound like a communist from my attack on religions and my call for compassion to fellow human beings. If it sounds communist, then I would say that communism is the best thing that happened to man.
Human beings are a supposedly social species. If we truly are, there cannot be a place for such things like religion in our society. What we need to do is fight to eradicate hunger, poverty, educate people, and create a healthy environment for fellow human beings.
Humans gather together a thousand times a year in the name of religion or politics. How many times do we come together as a species to discuss reforms or to set things right?
I can sleep now that I have passed on the burden …

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Bloggers to meet in Washington DC!!

Arvind my blogger friend has announced the first bloggers meet in Washington DC on the 9th of July, 2005 A.D. Since, Arvind has so graciously announced it I believe that he is going to graciously host this one and make life for graduate students like me easier. I invite all the budding aspiring bloggers and the current bloggers to join in the fun. I would like to point out a few good bloggers from DC (I think that most of the good bloggers are from DC :P) Daedalus, Ganesh, Senthil and Arvind (ofcourse if I dont he will kick me I am sure) ...the list is endless. I would also like to mention that the big spending will be done by the established bloggers while the young bloggers like me will sit back relax and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


After having a sumptuous dinner of pasta and vegetables I visit my friend Ganesh’s English blog and what do I see? I have been tagged, except that this time it is not a book tag...
I take a few deep breaths and let the steam out through my ears and decide that it was time to tell the world about myself…
So here goes,

Three names I go by:
Robbie… and oh my god!! I forgot the other two.

Three screen names:
Brad Pitt, Sean Connery and Robert De Nero are the three screen names I go by

Three Physical Things You like about Yourself:
There are too many things I like about myself physically, mmm…
let me see…
My adorable belly button,
My super dimpled cheeks and
The super soft mega sized tummy of mine and of course
Robbie Junior!! I simply adore him (This is censored for kids under 18 years of age)

Three Physical Things You Don’t Like About Yourself:
UH!! Um!! How dare you ask me this question!! I like everything and anything about myself ,coz if I don’t its an insult to my DNA.

Three things that scare me:
Tags like these that make me reveal my inner most self
People who come up with ideas for tags like these and
People who eat beautiful saint Bernards for dinner!!

Three things I want to do badly now:
Write a letter to blogspot to ban such tags
Tag three more people and make their life miserable and
Take a leak desperately, will do so after I finish this line…

Whew!! I am back… that was so relaxing oops theres more here

Three things I want to do before I die:
Make India a superpower
Design a fart bomb using laloo’s gober gas

Total films I own on DVD:
Are you kidding me!! You actually buy a DVD in this day and age? LOL!!!

Three things you are wearing right now:
My shirt, my shorts and ofcourse my underwear!!!

Three people who have to take this quiz:
Manmohan Singh
Sonia Gandhi and
George Bush

And I would like someone to go tell them quick, please!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


I just managed to finish reading the one Dan Brown book that I hadn't read. After having read the other three books (Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and Digital fortress) I plunged into deception point with a lot of expectations and felt decieved and disappointed at the end.
It was because I felt that Dan Brown was getting predictable, I could clearly see the pattern of the plot emerging.
The plot in all of Dan Brown’s books is strikingly similar; the central theme of each book though, is different.
The formula for a Dan Brown book
1.A few controversial issues
Deception point: panspermia, NRO, NASA and the white house
Digital fortress: NSA, and internet privacy
Angels and Demons and Da Vinci Code: Anti matter, Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, and the Vatican
2.Attractive and skilled hero and heroine :
Deception point:
Mike Tolland (oceanographer) and Rachel Sexton(Intelligence analyst)
Digital fortress: David Becker (modern language expert) and Susan Fletcher(Mathematician and cryptographer)
Angels and Demons:
Robert Langdon (Harvard professor and symbologist) and Vittoria Vetra(anti matter scientist)Da Vinci Code:
Robert Langdon and Sophia Neveu (cryptologist)
3. Assassins
4. An important person (head of an organization) usually is the villain

5. All evidence initially always point to innocent people
6. The wrong doings of the villains are always “TOP SECRET” and are not revealed to the general public
This is the general formula for all Dan Brown books. I do agree that his books are riveting and he does have the gift of keeping the reader’s undivided attention. In fact I became a big fan of Dan Brown after I read Angels and Demons. His books do carry a lot of information (sometimes false) and deal with a variety of issues, but the plots are all the same. I think it finally would boil down to individual preference. I still would prefer Dan Brown to some other ordinary author, but I felt it necessary to critique him this way.
Please let me know about your thoughts and comments. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I surprised myself with this one. I thank Kaleidoscope and randomshots for inspiring me to photoblog Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005


I was walking from the metro back home and I was wondering about the number of responsibilities that have built up on me as the years have passed by. I suddenly felt suffocated. There were too many things to worry about. In India, we as children enjoy enormous freedom. I remember that most of my childhood was spent reading fun books or playing with my friends. Yes, the family did want me to do some fun chores, like going to the milk booth early in the morning waiting in that long line and getting the milk back home without spilling a drop. In addition to the milk chores, there would be some veggie shopping or mopping occasionally (my aunt would not let me mop coz she was never confident that I would get anything as squeaky clean as she did, but nevertheless she would want me to do some mopping sometimes). Other than these minor chores all I had to do was play and of course study to keep up with school. I was involved in a number of extra-curricular activities at school. I never really ventured into sports because I knew that the only real sport I knew was to sleep with my eyes closed for 18 hours at a stretch. I loved writing short plays and acting in them. My only responsibility really was to study and get good scores to get me into the science group in high school. I did that with relative ease, even though I did not score very high in my matriculation exams. By the time I was in high school I was knee deep and sinking into all kinds of the so called "extra-curricular" activities, shoemaker-levy 9 crashed into Jupiter and the stellar constellations of my ruling planet (Saturn) apparently got severely affected because of that. I ground through high school somehow.
I hated the humongous amounts of memorization that we did just to scrape through our high schools. I somehow managed to get a decent score in my high school. I found out though that I would not qualify to study either medicine or engineering with the scores I had. I was not in the least bothered by this, we were a class of 56 students who graduated out of high school and I was the only one who went on to do my bachelors degree in Microbiology. I thoroughly enjoyed the subject of my choice. It was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. After my bachelor’s degree, I did what everyone did, got a masters degree. After my masters degree everyone in my family was pushing me into taking the GRE and trying to get into a university in the United States. I had settled down into a nice job with a pharmaceutical company and was enjoying traveling the streets of Chennai marketing their stuff. I took the GRE with a lot of skepticism. I hadn’t prepared for it at all. I somehow managed to land a decent score to get me into one of the American Universities. Everyone who met me started to talk about how great it was going to be for me in the United States and about the future that lay in front of me. I landed in the United States on December 31 2001. I had been spot checked in every single airport (My Hindu name apparently doesn’t help). My uncle picked me up at the airport and took me to his house. It had been quite a while since I had met my uncle. I noticed that he had changed completely. I didn’t feel anything Indian about him. His house wasn’t an Indian household anymore. It was like I had walked into some alien house. I did not feel comfortable there at all. My uncle then brought me here to DC and left me with a Slovakian roommate. It has been three and a half years now since I first stepped foot into this country. I enjoy my research and I am very productive. I am still a year and a half away from my final goal, but yet, there is something lacking here. I feel it very strongly each day and it grows on me. I miss the crowd, the stench, the sweat, the thirst, the hunger and the passion which is so typically Indian. I miss the dirty streets and the carefree spirits roaming them. I miss the overcrowded buses and the daredevil stunts, hanging on the steps. I miss the stress free life I had. I miss my grandmothers cooking and the umpteen number of souls that have touched my life… I miss my country.
I wish someone could set me free!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Book Tag

I have been tagged by Daedalus and it is my turn to share information with the blog world. Before I do so I would strongly recommend anyone reading this blog to visit her blog site. Her site is an information highway and a great way to keep in touch with current US policies and politics.
Books I own: In India: I have not counted
In the US: 10+ (I have become a very poor reader of late)
Last book I bought: Deception point by Dan Brown, have not finished reading it as yet.
Five books that mean a lot to me: It is very difficult for me to just think of 5 books but I will try my best to mix nonfiction and fiction.

THE BLIND WATCH MAKER by Richard Dawkins:
It is a book that argues for Darwin’s theory of Evolution and strongly argues against intelligent design. I wonder if there would be any more believers of the intelligent design theory if people read and understood this book. This book was recommended to me by my mentor during my master’s degree in Microbiology. It helped me get a new perspective on evolution.

MY LIFE by Bill Clinton:
It is one autobiography that I enjoyed reading. Clinton is an awesome writer and so is his wife a must read for all commoners like me.

The Foundation Series and Robot series by Isaac Asimov:
A must read for any science fiction fan. These books are incomparable to any other science fiction books for their content (I have already introduced Asimov in my inaugural blog).

This book just took me by surprise an amazingly well written book, a leisurely read.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Charles Dickens:
There is something eerily romantic about this classic. I have read most of the classics but none of them have made me reread them as much as this one. A classic for all times and ages.

I tag: Ganesh, Srikanth, Senthil, Chinmayi, Desikan, Praveen, Arvind and Prabz
p.s. I also tag ceremonial soup, I just got a chance to read his blog and its very interesting.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


I was browsing the net today and chanced upon this website with the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. I remember my first encounter with one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s books. I was 10 years old then, sitting and watching the telly with my grandfather. My aunt came up to me and handed me a book bound wonderfully well and it read “THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES”. I used to be busy with my Enid Blyton books and Mark Twains classics like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I looked at my aunt with a little bit of distrust and wondered out loud if this book she gave me was ever going to match Mark Twains books. I went up to my room closed the doors like I usually did and lay on my bed and started reading the book. After the first few pages I came to know that Sherlock Holmes was a chemist and that he was a man of limited all round abilities and that he was also a drug addict of sorts and to top it all a detective. I read on and discovered that Holmes also believed that the brain was like an empty attic and that was the reason why he did not believe in stacking up his attic with things that did not concern his profession, I was very impressed indeed. I read more and more and could not take my eyes off the book. A knock on the door brought me to my senses. It was morning and I had been reading the book all night. The detective had possessed my senses with his brilliance and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became my favorite author for quite sometime after that.

Here is the link to the site I was talking about

I hope you all enjoy reading the best detective stories ever written…

Posted by Hello

Friday, June 03, 2005



I look into the mirror and reflect on how 27 years of my life have passed by me. I have come a long way since I was in my mother’s womb, unaware of the life that awaited me. I am now so far away from the beginning; still unaware of what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is so full of uncertainties. I am always so sure about what my plans for tomorrow are going to be, but am I sure about if there would be a tomorrow? What if everything froze in time? Everything I loved and I knew was forever erased from my mind. What would happen? This is what THE ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND TRIES TO ANALYZE. What would happen if you were to wake up one day and find out that the person you loved has erased all her memories about you? In the movie the memories were erased using a machine. In real life some people choose to forget, they claim they love you one day and forget you the next. I have always wondered if some of us need such gadgets to erase our memories. Most of us tend to temporarily forget the nasty incidences that occur in our lives, we only remember them when we encounter them in some way or the other. What would life be without bad memories? Bad memories are unavoidable in our short life. If given a choice, what memories of mine would I erase? Probably none! All my memories are linked to different incidents, whether they are good or bad I would not want to erase my memories. This is the subtle message in THE ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND.

The central theme of this movie is “LOVE”. The importance that human beings give to this word is paramount. It is impossible to think of anyone on earth who hasn’t fallen in love with someone.

What is LOVE? I searched for the dictionary meaning of love on the net and this is what I got…


  1. A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
  2. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.
    1. Sexual passion.
    2. Sexual intercourse.
    3. A love affair.
  3. An intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object.
  4. A person who is the object of deep or intense affection or attraction; beloved. Often used as a term of endearment.
  5. An expression of one's affection: Send him my love.
    1. A strong predilection or enthusiasm: a love of language.
    2. The object of such an enthusiasm: The outdoors is her greatest love.
  6. Love Mythology. Eros or Cupid.
  7. often Love Christianity. Charity.
  8. Sports. A zero score in tennis.

Does this definition satisfy any of you reading this? It certainly does not satisfy me, this definition certainly is not adequate. Love is a very ill defined feeling in all of us. It is a very selfish as well as an altruistic emotion. Yes, love is a big paradox. We cannot just call love a sexual feeling, for it is not. It is more than all that, it transcends everything. It is a very intense emotion; it digs deep into us like an abyss. Love can make or break things for an individual. It has the ability to motivate people to wage wars. Love can be a weapon of mass destruction or a solid foundation to another world trade centre.

Why am I rambling on and on about love? It is because science fiction writers have always tried to analyze human behavior and especially our emotions. There are many episodes of Star trek that have focused only on this aspect of emotional intelligence. Emotions are a human beings strength as well as weakness. So what has love got to do with memory? We as humans remember the things we love the longest. The people we love live in our memories the longest and so do the objects that we associate them with. It can be a simple watch that they used to wear or a ring, a pendent anything and everything. Isn’t our brain amazing? It recognizes and interprets our love and keeps it longer for us to recall every single detail.

I think its time for me to go to bed and to the world of my dreams…

Posted by Hello