Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dear love,

This wonderful feeling,
It’s growing in me everyday,
Day and night it sweeps my day,
Making me leap,
Sometimes in ecstasy,
Sometimes in pain,
Your thoughts possess me,
Obsessively demanding my attention,
How am I to sleep this way?
The eternal insomniac that I am already,
Those murmurs in my brain,
Of memories sweet and sour;
Do not matter any more,
Frozen memories have thawed,
I now believe in Immaculate Conception,
The abstracts make more sense now,
Your face fills my moonless nights,
Loneliness has deserted me,
A smile lingers on my face,
Lucky aren’t I to be loved by love itself?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Books: The decisions I made...

I was in my 5th grade then, my grandfather bought me a whistle to blow and play cop in the house. He perhaps knew that I was at that time fascinated by Sherlock Holmes and his methods of detection. It was also during this period that I was introduced to a number of wonderful works of English literature, like Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Midsummer night’s dream and umpteen numbers of incredible poems by Shelly, Milton and Wordsworth. From time to time the books I read shaped my thinking and I wanted to become everything from an astronaut to a chef. Books were probably my only companions till my 10th grade. All my classmates lived so far away from my place that it was very difficult for me to get together with them for even a game of cards. I love reading books and if I love something even more it is analyzing what I read in those books.

I was in a dilemma when I finished my 12th grade on whether to choose the arts or the sciences. I think many of us go through this tough phase in life. We all have a passion for many things and choosing one thing that appeals most can be an almost impossible task. I must have considered almost everything from political sciences, Journalism, English literature, Biology and even law! I had one hell of a decision to make.

Finally, I made the decision to get into life sciences and I think that it was the best decision I could have ever made in my life. I have come to realize in the last 10 years from my association with science that science is not very different from the arts. Science requires a lot of creativity, creative ideas lead to creative experimentation which in turn leads to breakthrough. Arts and sciences have in fact always gone hand in hand. In order to be a successful scientist and publish papers in top journals in addition to great ideas one also has to have good writing skills. The ability to communicate ones ideas clearly and succinctly is a big part of being a successful scientist. A good scientist is a culmination of many artistic skills. For instance, some of the experiments we perform in biology require good hands and deep concentration and coordination. Taking photographs of cells is a very tricky thing, inexperienced researchers can easily select for fields that are misrepresentative of the result they obtained. Taking photographs of cells is a refined art; every time you look at a cell you tend to have a better understanding of the cell as well as the equipment you use to visualize the cell. These are in fact the easy part of being a researcher. The most difficult part in research is coming up with the right questions or in other words “hypothesis”. This is perhaps where the arts and the sciences differ. The degrees of freedom in both these disciplines are vastly different. For instance a person in the arts can draw an abstract whose meaning is open for interpretation whereas in science there is no place for abstract thoughts; clarity is the name of the game. The reason for this huge essay is to emphasize on the works that go into becoming a good scientist and how scientists need to be meticulous and precise in their experimentation and communication. It is easy to summarize all that I have here, but it is very difficult to follow it in practice; I strongly believe that every human being needs to follow the scientific method in their life. We are prone to blind faiths and assumptions, we come up with theories that cannot be tested and attribute them to some unknown entities.

Books have shaped my outlook towards life and have led me to major decisions in life. If I had spent time on spiritual and religious text I would have changed the way I currently think. My mentor during my M.S in microbiology had a different idea about books, he was against the concept of text books. He felt that text books took away the ability of an individual to think “out of the box”. I agree and disagree with him on this, there has to be precedence for performing experiments; text books might have taken away mans curiosity to search for answers to unknown questions but at the same time they also provide the base for building ones curiosity. Good reading habits can shape an individual… can someone define what good books are?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The last cannibal and the last drop of oil

The end seems so close. The future of this planet rests in great peril. The most intelligent creature (in the universe?) on earth is on a self destruct mode. Our natural resources are near depletion, our dependence on our own creation has increased our energy consumption more than ever before. We have used up most of our fossil fuels, alternative sources of energy are at a great demand, the earth must have never felt so abused before. Where do we stop? Our fertile mind continues to discover new avenues for our survival, but do we consider what we have in stock? We might reach a stage where rational thinking and solutions might not make any difference to the planet we are living in. I was watching a few interesting short documentaries on ninemsn recently and was astonished to see what a mess we have left for our future generations.
I have links to a few of those incredible documentaries here.
Running on empty:
This documentary is about how humans are running out of oil fast and the prediction is that we will run out of oil by 2015!!
The nuclear question:
Addresses the questions regarding nuclear power as the alternative clean fuel.
Australia's fault:
About how Australia is responsible for all the tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes in Indonesia!
The last cannibals:
About the last stone age cannibalistic tribe on earth!

Monday, August 14, 2006

The pain of separation

pic source:

A short essay inspired by Isaac Asimov's "I ROBOT"
I am sitting in the corner of my room, lost in thought about the past few months. Something has changed within me. I am no longer the robot I used to be, I am starting to feel these days, emotions that humans describe very often as “love”. I have started to wonder if a robot like me can have feelings. It was just a few months back when I first set my robotic laser vision on her. A big smile confronted my sensors, which warmed the microprocessors in my positronic brain. My circuits have ever since started to run haywire. The scientists who made me are not yet to come up with a plausible explanation of my status. A few of them look at me with astonishment. I must indeed look weird. I am not a bad robot; in fact I am the first one of my kind. My father must have made me unique; I can feel this intense emotion called love these days. Love for this beautiful human being. I have yearned so long to be human, maybe that’s why human emotions have overtaken me. I know that I cannot ever tell her of my feelings because I am certain she will reject me. How will she ever agree to be with a metallic mess like me? I sometimes wish I were human, as human as she is. I have often contemplated why my master built me like this, all of the others of my kind do not know to love, but why did you build me like this? Why do I feel this emotion? What is the purpose? This emotion is not described in the three laws within which I work. She has changed me, so much so that my metallic armor has started to shine without me taking care of it. She told me that she loves me and I believe in those words. Did I say believe? Trust? What weird things for a robot to be thinking about… I wonder if my master truly made me worthy of her.They told me that they will put me to sleep soon, and that I will never have “dreams” again. They said that I am going to sleep for a long time, never to wake up again and that I will never think about her again. They are decommissioning me, I hope I do not feel the pain… that sweet pain of separation…
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Thursday, August 03, 2006

The lullaby

pic source:

The murmur spread and became clear,
Softly escaping from the confines of the mind,
A lullaby filled her senses,
Clutching her life in her hand she lay,
In total surrender to the sounds that made her sway,
Sleep beckoned her deep into its darkness,
Taking her into the dreamers trance,
Haunting her senses with its wild array,
She dreamt within dreams,
Hid her face within her sheets,
As mystical thoughts lay asunder,
Torn apart by the events of late,
She rode the waves of destiny,
Unsure of what the morning brought her,
She woke to see his smiling face,
Only for him to sing her to sleep

Monday, June 19, 2006


pic source:
As the tiny drops fell from the sky,
Immersed in blissful thought was I,
They fell and crept down my mane to my neck,
Enthralling and driving me crazy,
Reminding me of my adolescence wild,
Fiery love, blind desires,
Pubescent forests with wild lilacs,
Flowery fragrance and mystic thoughts,
Fraught and depraved,
Thirsty for love,
Dowsing the flames came down the rain,
The eternal life support,
Enchanted hermits, controlled minds,
Ageing gracefully like wine,
For eons have thee determined life,
Rain, art thee the saving grace for mankind?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Forbidden love

Pic source:
I feel you in my mind,
The soft tenderness of your presence,
The fragrance in your enchanting voice,
Whispers filled with sweet nothings,
My heart buzzes with expectations,
Anticipating the next silky smooth move,
I can still feel you, touch you but not see you,
One day you make me what I am,
The next you try to destroy,
A meaningless entity,
Denial does not kill you,
Only makes you stronger,
Caught in the eternal battle,
Of the mind and heart you suffer,
Hidden in the forbidden corner of my heart,
You will rise again and again till I die,
My love…sweet forbidden love


Federer(1) faces Nadal(2) tomorrow in what could be one of the best matches ever in the history of tennis. The final match of the French open promises to be a humdinger
Will Federer become the first man since Rod Laver and Don Budge to win 4 Grandslams in a row on 4 different surfaces?
Will Nadal extend his open era clay court winning record to 60?
Will Sharapova say yes to Federer?
Wait a minute...
Sharapova and Federer?
Watch this hilarious video and warm up for tomorrow!!!

source: darkazzazinator

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Pic source:
I swoon in the river of blood,
Surrounded by the squeals of nature,
Disillusioned people and a purposeless life,
Cannibals thrive on altruistic desire,
Weakened souls lighting their own funeral pyre,
A gentle fire encompassing ignoramuses,
They howl and cry in pain,
Echoes of a chaotic past linger on,

Let the chaos subside and sanity prevail,
How many will we lose?
Through suicides and murders galore!
Orphaned and tormented are our souls,
Remnants of a barbaric past,
It's time to eschew the myth of the early man!

Monday, May 29, 2006


Poetry: Bharathiyar
Poem recited by: Robbie
Music: Ganesh

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Click here to download the song (hi-fi version)


The story behind Resilience:

It was 1994, I was in my 11th grade then, my friends from school had arranged for us to go to watch Mahanadi. I went with all my class (we were 56) to watch this movie. The movie started and despite being the unruly beings we were observed pin drop silence. This wouldn’t have happened even in our class room. My Malaysian class mate was crying uncontrollably by the end of the movie and I had to console him and remind him that it was just fiction.
Mahanadi was a stunner; it also introduced me to this poem. For a long time after that day ‘pirar vaada’ and Kamal’s voice kept lingering in my mind.

Listen to Kamal's version here ( I modified it and made it slower, making it easier for people to follow the lines in the poem, I personally feel that Kamal could have slowed it down:p)

I had long wanted to post this poem on my blogsite. I had one problem though, I did not have the lyrics. Thennavan graciously sent me the lyrics when I asked for it. I was ready to recite it and post it when Ganesh called me home.
I stopped recording and went to Ganesh’s place, after reaching there a weird thought struck me. I had always wanted this recital to be accompanied by music of some sort and here I had Ganesh, a brilliant composer with me, so I immediately started pestering him to compose music suiting the mood of this poem. It was hard for me to believe what happened next, Ganesh in the next 10 minutes or so had come up with this brilliant composition to go with my recital!!!
He literally composed the music impromptu. I couldn’t believe what I heard because he was suffering from cold and a terrible headache the entire day and I had least expected him to come up with such music.
What you hear now is the product of those few hours of brainstorming and Ganesh’s brilliance in executing this idea. I feel honored to be in the company of such a talented person like Ganesh and I request people visiting here to carefully listen to the composition and to give your feedback to this wonderful composer. This was a novel experiment, and I thank Ganesh for helping me with it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tagged:You win... I lose!

I have been tagged by Shuba Venkat and here are my responses…

1. Grab the book nearest to you turn to page 18 and find line 4 (jeepers creepers whoever came up with this idea!)
Book: A long walk to freedom by Nelson Mandela
page 18, line 4 from the chapter "A country childhood": The men wore suits and the women affected the severe protestant style of the missionaries: thick long skirts and high-necked blouses, with a blanket draped over the shoulder and a scarf wound elegantly around the head. (shows that great leaders can also be quite boring at times)

2. Stretch your arm out as far as possible...
Whew! that was good stretching exercise.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
I haven't watched TV for a few months now so dont remember what I watched last.

4. Without looking guess what time it is:
Must be 11:00 P.M

5. Now look at the time, what is the actual time?
10:51 P.M! I guess I am always thinking ahead:P

6. With the exception of the computer what can you hear?
The goddamned aircon!! Seems to be working overtime these days. arrrgh!

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
I guess around 5 hours back (all my friends are either injured or tired so no tennis today) on my way back from the lab. Haven't stepped outside ever since I came back confining myself to my cozy cozy room.

8. Before this survey what did you look at?
Your blogsite! (was listening to the song vennilave... from Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu).

9. What are you wearing?
Do you really need to know? Blue shorts and grey tee.

10. When did you last laugh?
When I saw that you had tagged me and I had to answer all these questions (I can assure you that it was sarcastic).

11. Seen anything weird lately?
Everything’s so weird these days that I am trying to find something normal!

12. What do you think of this quiz?
Must have been designed by the greatest...... (The rest is censored) on earth!

13. What is the last film you saw?
Thirupathi... gosh! what a waste of time (I meant the movie)!!

14. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Switches, plugs, temperature controls and lots of (no pictures of aishwarya rai so dont get your expectations high) empty space!

15. If you became a multimillionaire what would you buy?
A beautiful town house in Mars.
(Hire an assistant first to help me type this! It’s taking forever to finish!!!!)

16. Tell me something about you that I don’t know.
Hmm! I have a bath every morning, eat three meals a day, (I think you can imagine the rest)...

17. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Make science the only religion.

18. Do you like to dance?
Yeah! If you would give me company, sure! Why not?

19. Imagine your first child is a girl, what would you call her?
Lucky! Coz in the first place she only had a 50% chance to be a girl!

20. Imagine your first child is a boy, what would you call him?
'My son' of course! What else would anyone call him?

21. Would you ever consider living abroad?
I guess I don’t have that choice now:P

22. What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
”I am a believer!"

I tag Ganesh, Thennavan, Narayan Venkat, Swahilya and whoever else is interested in wasting time.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Battle of the sexes

I revisited "the selfish gene" by Richard Dawkins and this post is in special reference to Chapter 9 in the book titled 'Battle of the sexes'. In this chapter Dawkins tries to explain the difference between what fundamentally is male and female. In the animal and plant kingdom in general the criterion for judging the sex of an individual are based on how large the sex cells are. In general the egg cells of the female are many times larger than the male sperm and this can be used as a general yardstick to interpret the differences between the sexes.

He goes on further to talk about the contribution of the males and females during reproduction. The egg essentially is the major contributor, the sperm on the other hand is just a vehicle that transfers information, it is not a good food source. All the food for the developing embryo is provided for by the egg. In primitive organisms like fungi sexual reproduction occurs between isogamous individuals those that cannot be distinguished into two sexes. The contribution of both donating individuals in such a scenario is equal. So, during evolution one of these two isogametes must have turned into a larger cell and thus cells with larger gametes would become suitable embryo support systems. This is where female exploitation started evolutionarily according to Dawkins.

A few lines from the chapter that describes evolution of sexes…

"In the days when all sex cells were interchangeable and of roughly the same size, there would have been some that just happened to be slightly bigger than others. In some respects a big isogamete would have an advantage over an average-sized one, because it would get its embryo off to a good start by giving it a large initial food supply. There might therefore have been an evolutionary trend towards larger gametes. But there was a catch. The evolution of isogametes that were larger than was strictly necessary would have opened the door to selfish exploitation. Individuals who produced smaller than average gametes would cash in, provided they could ensure that their smaller gametes fused with the extra-big ones. This could be achieved by making the small ones more mobile, and able to seek the large ones actively. The advantage to an individual producing small, rapidly moving gametes would be that he could afford to make a larger number of gametes, and therefore could potentially have more children..."

In the lines above Dawkins has beautifully pointed out how females have been exploited by males through evolution to spread their genetic information, it is interesting how selfishly genetic selection makes the females the exploited species. Males according to Dawkins are worthless fellows, and it would be good for a particular species to have more females than males. There are many more interesting aspects to this particular chapter that discusses about the advantages of being a male and the disadvantages of being a female. I have recently been visiting this blog and witnessing a battle of sexes of sorts. I hope that the battle of sexes stops, coz after all we (males and females) were all once isogamous!

Friday, May 12, 2006

"Kal El" do you need kryptonite?


Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound... It’s a bird, a bee no its Kal El! Yes! A few of you guessed right Kal El is the actual name of Clark Kent aka Superman. Superman was perhaps the first science fiction comic series I started reading, I still remember those long walks with my grandfather to the grocery store which usually resulted in him getting me a bunch load of comic books (what a horrendous waste of money!!). I probably owned every single superman comic that came out during those times, including the one in which he dies tragically, killed by his friend turned arch rival Lex Luther.
Superman was created by school mates Joe Shuster and Jerome Siegel in 1933 (read the story behind superman here).
Superman is an ingenious creation and a subtle way of introducing kids to science fiction; I have since graduated from superman to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke. Superman a perfect role model and what every kid wants to be, a symbol of justice, power and honesty. I still remember the days I spent as a kid imagining myself flying and saving the world in my dreams.The characterization of superman is very complex and very imaginative, it is not an ordinary thing to think about so many super powers and Kryptonite is absolute genius. It is incredible that the authors so ingeniously thought of a weakness. The comic books where superman encounters kryptonite are fascinating. I must have read and reread those stories a hundred and one times when I was a kid, now with the movie about to hit the big screen I really long to read one of those comic books again.
I am surprised that Kal El did not lose his significance even after all these days. The world still misses him, I still miss him… BRING ON THE KRYPTONITE!!!
These are the lyrics to the superman song from the popular serial Smallville
Its not easy to be me: THE SUPERMAN SONG
I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive
I'm just out to find
The better part of me
I'm more than a bird
I'm more than a plane
More than some pretty face
beside a train
It's not easy to be me
Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home
I'll never see
It may sound absurd
but don't be naive-
Even Heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed
but won't you concede?
Even Heroes have the right to dream
It's not easy to be me
Up, up and away: away from me
It's all right
You can all sleep sound tonight
I'm not crazy or anything
I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive
Men weren't meant to ride
With clouds between their knees
I'm only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
It's not easy to be me.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Buddha and his empty head

I was browsing through the pictures of my visit to Tokyo this New Year and the picture of this gigantic 13 meter great Buddha of Kamakura stood out. I was transported to Kamakura and of the time I spent there walking into the statue. Yes! You can get into the statue and look into Buddha’s hollow empty head. It is this emptiness inside the statue that was very striking. The statue was built in the 13th century and was housed inside a large temple. The temple was washed away in a tsunami in the late 15th century and Buddha somehow has withstood the test of time. A visit to Kamakura which is full of Buddhist temples is incomplete without a visit inside the great 13.35 meter Buddha.

This essay wasn’t supposed to be a travelogue or about Kamakura. I had intended to write about how intriguing I found Buddha’s empty head to be. Why such an enlightened soul would have an empty hollow head was beyond my comprehension. In the space within the walls of the Buddha I felt very insecure. I realized how my big wide world was confined to finite space within the statue depriving me of freedom. As I dwell on this issue of empty space many unanswered questions keep following me like an avalanche, chasing me into wild thoughts and making me obsess.

Why do we all obsess over unanswered questions? This question brings me back to the great Buddha. Buddha was obsession incarnate. He obsessively questioned and analyzed the philosophy of life for years and he taught his disciples the “true” meaning of life. This “truth” is what I felt in looking at his empty head at Kamakura. That hollow empty space is the eternal “truth”, something that we feel around us at all times. We just don’t realize the space around us until or unless it is restricted or defined. Meditation also I believe makes us understand this very “truth” that the universe is nothing but empty space. How far within one can you delve for answers? Or, how small can you dissect an atom? (It is interesting to note that root of the word atom means indivisible) The root of everything in essence seems to be embedded in nothing! The complexity that covers this simple nothing is the marvel of science.

The empty head
Buddham charanam gachami (I take refuge in the Buddha)…

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A view from the window

Deep in my deepest slumber,
Wandering mysteriously through wild forests,
In search of a fair maiden I went,
Searching for the ever elusive dream,
I was near yet so far,
I woke up with a start,
It was midnight and through the window I saw her,
The most beautiful sight,
The shimmering full moon,
There she lay await for me,
All those years,
Playing the game of hide and seek,
She revealed herself for me to see,
Me and only me,
As she bathed me in her light,
Putting me into blissful slumber,
I woke up never to see her,
Till the Sun faded and night fell upon me,
She went hiding again,
Making me search for her in vain,
I looked and looked for many nights,
Till she peeped by my window yet again,
Bathing me in light so pristine,
Making my view from the window so divine.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The making of Saidapettai Mannaru: A lesson in perseverance

On Tuesday last week, I woke up to a call from Ganesh. He seemed very excited and started to rattle off dialogues in Madras Tamil and kept calling me Kabali. I was still asleep and did not understand what he was talking about. All that I could understand was that there was a “ghaana” song that he had composed to Thennavans lyrics. I did not pay heed to his words and listened to him half heartedly and fell fast asleep immediately after I kept the phone down. It was usual for Ganesh to be excited, but I didn’t know that he was very serious about this one. I was not every serious about the Madras “ghaana” song thingie till I reached his house on Saturday night. He was kind enough to pick me up on his way back from the Circus. We woke Thennavan up from his evening siesta and called him to Ganesh’s place. As usual, he brought us a pack of my favorite “Kaju Bharfis” and we forgot to reprimand him for his late arrival as soon as we saw that. We then chatted about a bit and as usual I argued with Thennavan about some trivial issues (we just love arguing).

Ganesh and Thennavan began brain storming about the dialogues for the mini skit at the beginning of the song. Ganesh was at his innovative best, often making us burst out in laughter with his antics. After nearly 2 hours we came up with the entire script and also made modifications to Thennavan’s lyrics. I came up with peechangaiya paaru and avicha muttai and Ganesh brilliantly modified veetiliruppadhu aaru to ooti valarthadhu aaru and we were finally ready to record the skit. It was 12AM then and we finished recording the skit by 1:30AM. We should have immediately started recording the song but were caught up with listening and admiring our recorded voices. We must have listened to the skit a thousand times that night admiring and congratulating ourselves on our performances (you must think that we are bloody narcissists, I think there is nothing wrong in it, like my thalaivar (kamal haasan) says, we are our biggest fans and critics:P)

So, finally after wasting a lot of time on listening to ourselves we finally got ready to record the song. It was 3AM and Annathe had to record the Karaoke version of the song first and we all started to feel very sleepy and decided to call it quits for the night. I slept that night at Annathe’s place and Mannaru also decided not to go home because we really were by that time very excited to see what the final product would look like. We all woke up at 9 AM and right after we brushed and got ready to record the song again. Annathe was still trying to record the Karaoke version and we rehearsed singing the song at least 10 times. Annathe was able to fix the chords and record the Karaoke version only by 2PM. It was a continuous struggle because we had to allow enough time for all our extra gimmicks and Annathe had to record it and feed it into the software on his laptop. After the Karaoke version was recorded we decided that it would be best that Annathe leads because he was the least likely to make mistakes while singing (coz me and Mannaru are yet to turn pro). We then encountered the biggest problem of them all; we had finished recording all our voices on separate tracks and everything seemed to be in perfect sync when the software on Annathe’s computer froze. It crashed and corrupted our files and when we mixed our voices it did not synchronize like before, this happened to us twice and both times it was my track which wasn’t in sync and I had to sing my part multiple times.

It was nearly 8 PM and I was really frustrated coz both Mannarus and Annathe’s tracks had come out fine, I asked Annathe to mix his and Mannaru’s voice first and I told them to post the song without my voice. Both Mannaru and Annathe refused to accept and strongly felt that my voice should feature in the song because of the effort we had already put in. We nevertheless went ahead and mixed their voices and I accidentally ran upon my voice file and asked Annathe if he could try mixing that file to check if it works and it did!! We were all so relieved and immediately finished the recording and posted it on Annathe’s corner. I told Annathe yesterday when he was dropping me on my way back home that I didn’t really care if people liked the song or not because I really enjoyed making the song with him and Mannaru and to hear the finished product itself was very fulfilling and a testament to Annathe’s perseverance. Annathe could have called it quits any time yesterday, but did not. Mannaru was infectious with his enthusiasm and had all our spirits high right throughout. I still remember Mannaru playing Anthakshari with Annathe’s kid while Annathe was recording the Karaoke. I wondered how he kept his enthusiasm alive the whole day, when even the most enthusiastic kid would have given up. Mannaru and Annathe really made it happen by being persistent and enthusiastic the entire time.
Kudos to our team! I am very proud of being part of a team like this.
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this wonderful venture and have learnt a lesson of patience and perseverance from two veterans.

Powered by Castpost

Lyrics: Mannaru
Singers: Annathe, Mannaru and Kabali
Actors: Ganesh, Thennavan and Robbie.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Holographic Flying Kiss

I shot this at the MIT science museum in Boston. The museum had some delightful holograms and I fell in love with this one the moment I saw it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

My 50th post: A view of Tokyo from the 50th floor

On the 31st of December 2005, I set out on the final leg of my journey. A visit to one of the most densly populated cities of the world- TOKYO. Tokyo has a population of 30 million. Just the thought of a visit to one of the premier cities in the world which has been voted as the most expensive place to live in the world consistently over the last decade filled me with excitement and anxiety. I got off the flight and went through the immigration clearence and customs and was out of the airport in less than 30 minutes. Everything seemed to be so streamlined. My uncle was waiting for me outside and immediately took me to the parking lot. There waiting for us was a magnificient Mazda Rx-8. The two door four seater sports car was fully loaded with a navigation system and with bose stereo system with a total of 8 speakers masterfully placed to please the auditory senses to the maximum. Viruvirumaandi... virumaandi was blasting on the speakers when we entered Tokyo.
In front of me lay a sprawling metropolis with ultramodern subway systems bullet trains, public transportation was at its best. Everything and everyone seemed to be in the "zone". Fast... must have been a word to describe Tokyo. After a quick stop at a local rest stop for some breakfast (some sumptuous hamburger and coffee) we reached harumi where my uncle resides.
I was soon on top of a 50 storey building in my uncle’s apartment on the 50th floor sucking in the wonderful sight of magnificient Tokyo. I could see the beautiful red Tokyo tower (Tokyo's equivalent of the Eiffel tower) and mount Fuji and the beautiful river that runs in Tokyo. It was a breathtaking sight, I could just stand there for hours marvelling at the city and dreaming of the days ahead when I would be roaming the streets capturing everything in my wildly imaginative brain and preserving it there forever.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Destination Salem

After San Francisco my next stop was Singapore. I boarded the Singapore airlines flight Sq001 at 00:05 hours to Singapore from SFO. It was a full flight and I ended up sitting at the rear end of the flight. It was the longest flight I have ever been on it took 14hrs and 50 min to reach Hong Kong where it stopped for a hour and a half, which gave enough time for me to grab a “short” café latte. After 3 and a half hours of flying the flight finally landed in Singapore. The Changi Airport is arguably the best airport for transit. It has everything that a passenger in transit would want. I found a nice place to have a welcome shower ($1.60 US) and stowed away my carry on luggage in a locker. I then went on a 2 hour colonial tour of Singapore. I would strongly recommend anyone with more than 6 hours of transit in Singapore to take one of the tours (colonial or cultural). The colonial tour takes you around the colonial Singapore and also has a ferry ride along the Esplanade theatre (whose architect also happens to be an Indian). On the trip I learnt a lot about the history of Singapore (including the foundation of the INA). I also learnt that the first president of Singapore was of Indian origin and the sixth and current president of Singapore is also Indian. I did not find the 8 hour transit tiring at all because of all this and boarded the flight to India in the best of my spirits.
I slept through most of the flight and woke up when the flight was about to land in Chennai. Chennai from the air, especially at night is a sight to see. My aunts were waiting anxiously for me to come out of the airport and were relieved to see me coming out unscathed. I stayed for two days in Chennai and left for my place of birth…


I set out with my two of my aunts and and an uncle to the city of steel and mangoes. It took us 8 hours to reach there as the roads were completely devastated because of the cyclonic rains. We were terribly exhausted when we reached there. It was the night of the 21st and the children from the village had gathered around to practice dancing and singing for my grandmothers 80th birthday celebrations. Celebration was in the air… we were all dancing and singing for the next three days as we celebrated my grandmother’s birthday in grand style. Almost the whole family had gathered around for this wonderful occasion. I had never seen my grandmother happier. After the celebrations things started to calm down a bit and I had my private time with all my aunts, uncles and relatives. I went to Yercaud and had molaga bajji and keera bonda my favorites and played volleyball with my cousins. The best part of my stay in Salem was getting back with my sweet dogs… Geno, Choco and Candy.
Geno is the fawn colored Labrador his son Choco is the chocolate colored dog and Candy is the Dalmatian. I took a lot of pictures of my favorite dogs. Choco was 3 months old when I left him. He is a well trained dog and can do a number of tricks, he won awards in numerous dog shows and Candy recently won the award for the best breed. We have always had dogs at home and life around dogs is always exciting…
I am getting nostalgic now… I will let you all drool over these beautiful dogs while I retreat into my dreamland.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Travelogue: SFO and Narayan Venkat

San Francisco, Singapore, Chennai, Salem, Tokyo...these are the cities I visited from December 10- January 8. I am finally in my small cozy room in Washington DC reflecting at the incredible journey I have been through the last few weeks. Each city I visited was unique and wonderful in its own way. I will try and share my incredible experience with all of you over the next few days.
December 10-14 San Francisco
My journey started at 10:30 AM on the 10th of December when I boarded an ATA flight to SFO via Chicago. I reached SFO at 5:30PM and took an immediate liking to the city. I took a cab to The Handlery where my other two lab mates were waiting for me. After 40 minutes and 40 dollars I was finally there at The Handlery at Union Square. The hotel was decent and the room was just right for three people. I had a quick shower and immediately hit the road where I set sight on a beautiful Christmas tree. It was a huge tree with spectacular lighting in the middle of Union Square right next to a beautiful pillar with a statue of Neptune on top. I sucked in the sight and got back to the hotel and slept peacefully till 4AM. I woke up with a start at 4AM and started going about my morning business till someone shouted at me “GET BACK TO BED ITS ONLY 4AM!” I lay in wait for my roommates to finally wake up which they did after an agonizingly long time at 7AM. I then got ready quickly and went to the Moscone center where the 45th annual cell biology meetings were underway. That was the end of all the sight seeing right there for I never left the Moscone center the next four days. I was dazed looking at the hundreds of posters and dozens of minisymposiums that were presented each day. I presented my poster on the 14th and got to meet a bunch of amazing researchers who had one interesting suggestion after another. I was astounded at the response to my work and felt really relieved that I didn’t bomb at the meetings. The meetings gave me a lot to ponder about and gave me a chance to meet some wonderful people from all parts of the world.
Rendezvous with Narayanan Venkat, Jagan and TJ Swami
On my way back to DC Mr. Narayan Venkat came to meet me at the SFO airport. He came to meet me despite having problems with one of his legs. I was really touched by this gesture and will never forget his magnanimity and kindness. He is a very friendly man and looks exactly like he does in his profile picture. He had trouble recognizing me at the airport because he had no idea about how I looked. There was a sign of shock in his eyes when I waved to him, he sure must have cursed his luck:P. I thoroughly enjoyed his company and he has a good sense of humor. He took met to Jagans place where I had a wonderful shower and then the two of us along with TJ Swami went to the Saravana Bhavan in SFO. We had a wonderful time there talking about our love for life and the love of our lives!Mr. Venkat wanted to take a picture of the three of us but luckily his camera ran out of batteries and saved my identity from being revealed. Mr. Venkat dropped me and TJ back to the airport where we spent an hour yapping away and finally parted to head towards different terminals to catch our respective flights.