She wakes up before the sun-rise,
To make others in the family healthy, wealthy and wise
She goes to bed putting everyone to sleep tight,
But still she is “just” a house-wife.
She is a mother, she is a daughter, and she is wife,
She is the centre of the world of life.
She doesn’t have any holiday or any rewards,
She keeps working without any conditions,
Yet she is “just” a house-wife.
From morning to night, she thinks of her family,
And never thinks of herself
She is like the moon in the sky,
Whose light is faint and cold but clear and soothing
Still she is “just” a house-wife.
As the graduate school starts, one has to find the right motivation to pursue. What I mean by right motivation here is the right way to approach a problem or a customised way of handling one’s priorities. Each person is unique and have their own way of understanding things. There is no specified way of doing things in a Ph.D. Each one has various motivations in life; to fulfill one’s ambition, to reach a particular position, to earn a good name, to be successful, etc. but they will not be the same for all. One has to choose his/her approach, based on one’s own motivation. And thus comparing is not worth it. The ultimate aim of the whole process is to gain knowledge and rediscover oneself.
I always felt good if things happened orderly and met the set goals. Thus, when I lag behind my schedule or failed to deliver on time, it bothers me and I lose my motivation. On the other hand my friend, Sudeshna, never had this constriction. She was more bent on getting the final set of results as opposed to the small set goals in the project. The approach to get to a final point is different for both of us and if we try to step into each other’s shoes then it will not be right. Having said this, there must be a striking balance that must be maintained in order to keep the track smooth.
Therefore let us discover ourselves in our own way. Eventually, we will come to know of our strengths and shortcomings. We will know what we absolutely do not like and how we want to project our self. Ultimately, “who can know me better than myself!”
Yes, the title tells it all. In a way, grad school is a challenge and a difficult one. To take it up or not, is completely our choice and none of the choice is bad. The only thing which needs to be kept in mind is how interested we are in doing so. This piece of information may not be a new one and must have been told several times, but is of high importance.
As a student we all aspire to do great things. Our academic knowledge thrusts us to ask us a lot of questions and we go to the graduate school to find answers to these questions. We may be fueled by the Sci-Fi movies that we see, Well, that might be true, get fascinated by the great achievements of several scientists. But what we tend to ignore is the path they took to get those achievements.Most of the times we need to depend on stern and rigorous means to achieve our goals. Therefore, when one chooses to be in a graduate school, one must know the challenges that lies ahead. As the quotes reads, “A smooth sea never makes a good sailor”, one should not be scared of this, rather take it as a challenge. There is no greater satisfaction than completing the challenge.
There are several factors which cross our head while we make this choice. The most important prey that I have faced in this regard is peer pressure from both sides. You are torn between what is practically right and what you are really interested. Although, every person has a different situation and they should choose according to their situation; it is also true that eventually your interests are what that matters the most. May be, practically, at that particular time, it will be hard to chose your interest but eventually it will be more effective. This brings to another aspect and that is time. There is no harm in taking time to make your decision and understand what you actually want . Life is good both ways and regretting later, is not very beneficial.
As one of my college-mate puts down, the lab has been like her mate and that their relation is a love-hate one. Thus, like any other relation, it needs efforts to maintain this relation and will be rewarding, eventually. You need to love what you are doing and love begets happiness and happiness, they say, needs to be pursued. (philosophy duh! wait, but it is called doctor of philosophy!! Umm…) But the reality is, making the right choice is necessary. Also, we need to bear in mind that things being hard is different from not liking a thing.
Make the right turn and the destination would be just around the corner…
My heart cried, an unsaid pain;
Blood bubbled, but the body frail;
Rants and rants; cries and cries;
Reasons were not enough;
Louder, louder; I screamed and shouted;
and the heart kept bleeding all through.
Why and what; the eye questioned,
Confrontation was not the answer.
A cloud of gloom on thoughts was smitten;
Arguments, arguments; the mind rattled;
Time, time; the soul whispered;
Scars and wounds; with time was forgotten!
Once upon a time in the jungles of Africa, lived the King of the Jungle with his son Ryan. Ryan was a very playful Lion cub. He used to have shower in the spring nearby, played with his friend and listen to stories from his father. One day a group of people from the American Zoo came to the jungle. They had guns in their hand and they were looking for animals for keeping them in their zoo. Ryan as usual went to play with his friends but today he went little ahead of his usual area. The zoo people found him and caught him. Ryan roared but he was too young to roar as loud as his father. Ryan was put in a cage and was taken away from the jungle.
Ryan was now big and stout. His roar was loud and forceful. He was now the star of the New York Zoo. People came from far to see his performance. He was good with people and people loved him. He made a lot of friends in the zoo. Garry, the giraffe; was his best friend. Garry lived in the arena just beside Ryan. They were good friends. Garry always wanted to go out and have fun. One day Garry by mistake got into the rescue boxes that were meant to bring animals from the wild and got stuck there. Ryan ran behind him and he himself got stuck in another box. The boxes were kept on a ship and the ship sailed in the Atlantic.
There was a heavy storm in the Atlantic. The ship got wrecked and Ryan somehow got onto the wooden planks of the box and floated on the water. After few days, Ryan reached a shore. It was a small and strange place. The vegetation in these lands was also different. Ryan was hungry now. He didn’t have anything for the past few days. He began his search for food. Suddenly he came across a pride of lion. They were very powerful. They ruled that area. Ryan didn’t know how to hunt so he had to stay with him for food. In beginning none of them liked him but eventually everyone started liking him. The females in the pride were especially fond of Ryan after he had saved them from a group of people. Even though Ryan didn’t know to hunt he very well knew how to deal with people.
Days passed. The males of the pride started disliking Ryan due to his growing popularity. They decided to oust him out of the group. One day they called Ryan and said that he was not of any help and if he wanted to stay with them he had to bring water in the place which according to them was impossible. Now Ryan was to break the dam nearby the village to bring water to that region. So he went to that area and began thinking how he can do it. In these days of his solitude, he made many friends who used to come near the dam to drink water. He made friends with Martha monkey, viper snake, timothy the elephant and to his surprise he met Garry, his old friend. He was very happy. Now they all began thinking how to get water into the area.
One fine day, Garry came up with an idea. He reminded Ryan that his greatest strength was his performance and he must use it to break the dam. Then, Martha monkey bend the tree branches across the dam and viper snake tied them together. Ryan then could reach upto the dam. He danced and danced on it with all his force and all the animals rejoiced in happiness. And at one point the dam broke and water came gushing into the lands. Ryan was back into the pride and the other lions now had only respect for Ryan. The great performance and great bonding of Ryan and his friends made him successful.
On the top of the shelf, it was kept
Unused over years, it was left
Losing all its shiny, steely edge
It couldn’t even make an etch.
It was a blunt knife
On top of the shelf, it laid without a life
Over the years it got rusted
Neither cared for nor dusted
I thought I was the same
With no innovation I was lame
But hope is always there
And to our instincts if we adhere
The blunt knife can always be mended
Following the trail your conscience recommended
As each day passed, Anna’s curiosity kept on increasing. Was it true that she felt? She was just being introduced to this world, the world of questioning, reasoning, excitement… They were tiny, mobile and transparent yet they were there. She could very much see them but she didn’t say this to anyone. She kept it to herself. But always these things excited her…what are these that she was seeing? She thought they must be those that she was being taught in her class; micro-organisms, some of them round with flagella, some stationary and transparent. But her teacher told her that they couldn’t be seen with naked eyes then what were those, that she was seeing. Thinking about these over and over again and rubbing her eyes, she went into slumber.
Next day morning as she woke up, she rubbed her eyes and again in front of her was those, tiny, mobile objects about which she fascinated all this time. Now, her eyes were wide open and she could no more see her fantasies. She got ready for the school and started for school. She didn’t talk to anybody nor was she interested in knowing anybody else’s stories. She was just drowned in her own thoughts. As her school bus passed by, her eyes suddenly caught the attention of tiny, round bubbles. A man was dipping a small stick like thing in some kind of solution and was blowing through it and she could see that fantastical round, transparent bubbles coming out. They gleamed with different colors in sunlight. She felt excited about what she saw. The whole day passed and Anna almost forgot all about this when she started playing with friends. But as dusk fell and she was alone on her bed, her thoughts went back to her fantasies that she had felt. Those transparent things, those gleaming bubbles…..yawn and the lights went off.
The chart with a microscope diagram was hung on the wall and the teacher was explaining the basic principles of microscopy; its invention, uses. Anna was listening carefully. She knew that those objects that she saw were visible only under a microscope but exceptionally she could see them with her naked eyes. Now another thought strike her. Was she having eyes as powerful as the microscope? Was she a wonder girl? She had seen many super heroes and wonder-women in the cartoon series with exceptional power. Was she a wonder-woman? She felt excited and top of the world but still kept this to herself. Yawn…she slept. But today, before sleeping she didn’t rub her eyes. Her microscopy eyes didn’t saw those micro-organisms…
The time is around 11:00 pm and I m sitting in my room browsing. Like every other student, I opened my facebook and was going through the notifications. Only then did I see the NIUS-experiences by Mrityunjay bhaiyya and Anurag bhaiyya. I read through and I drifted and all my own experiences flashed across my mind.
I scored the highest marks in a chemistry quiz, seeing that my instructor had asked me to apply for the NIUS-program. It was almost the last day that I sent the application. I was not at all sure of this. Like everyone else had mentioned in their experience about the prejudice about engineering, I too had the same feeling. By my teacher’s grace I got selected and for the first time, I went for a science camp oriented for doing research and that too by undergrads. I was thrilled and excited. It was hard to leave home as it was the first time that I was coming back from hostel after nearly 5 months (staying away from home from the first time). I reached Mumbai-the city of dreams as all say and HBCSE.
The place itself had a feeling that makes you feel graced for being there. In the camp, there were students from many parts of the country. Somehow all the girls in the group came together and we all bonded very well. We used to attend lectures in the morning; although many parts of the lectures went above our heads, we could get the essence of all. We used to discuss our lectures in the evening and then after dinner we used to talk and chat a lot. The days soon got over and I miss those days till now, some of the best days of my life. During that period I stayed with Ashina didi and everyday when I used to go to room, I used to see her doing her work, reading through papers; which gave me a flavor of how things are to be done. Learning can be done from anywhere only that you have to take up the opportunity; the first thing NIUS taught me. While leaving HBCSE, I went through the Mankhurd station road. There is a Ram temple over there. I prayed to God to shower his blessings so that I get selected and I did get selected.
In my first summer, I studied a lot of literature. It was the first time in my life that I was actually going through this process. Many a times, I got jammed and tried to solve my problems. But the one most required thing that I didn’t do was speaking out my problems. I had problems, everyone has but I didn’t speak. I tried to cover them up. But still my mentor Indrani ma’m never gave up on me and she always kept pursuing me. Keeping up patience is a great thing in science and keeping up this, working hard and determinately, is a key to success. My second most important lesson form NIUS. I completed my first phase of work in NIUS.
I always looked up to people like Rohit bhaiyya. I always used to hear about him in my college but didn’t have a chance to get to know him. I used to see him and I realized that doing something whole-heartedly is very much essential for keeping up the spirits of the work. I use to see all my immediate seniors working hard and never giving up. Although unfortunately many of my fellow batch-mates had left, but these people and some of my own friends gave me the spirits to be back and not leave. Whatever it was, the days were enjoyable. The ice-cream parlor visits, where Ashna di, Sheetal di and Juhi di used to give me and Kajari the boost for working for the next day; the chit-chat during lunch breaks and tea-breaks with Tejal di, Sonali di and kavita di were all memorable.
Mumbai, the city of skyscrapers; the city of India that never sleeps… city of dreams and opportunities….Victoria Terminus and the Gateway of India, a little far away… It was nearly 4:00 in the morning and my train was about to reach Mumbai-CST (Chatrapati Shivaji Rail Terminus). I just got up from my sleep and got ready to get down. It was the first time, I was visiting this city. I was especially excited because this is the city that is very close to me yet far, may be for many of the T.V buffs too because most of the shoots and stories of the T.V shows are located in and based on Mumbai. It was early in the morning and I stepped onto CST. What a feeling it was… I was overwhelmed to see the city awake even at this time of the day… It was amazing and exciting as well.
It was weekend and I was feeling bored after tiring work in the lab. So in spite of the strict instructions from my parents not to go out alone, I had to step out. I had mixed feelings. I was thrilled to go out all alone in a new place, I had never been before and little frightened as well. I left Mankhurd station and came to CST. One of friends who was also doing summer project in Mumbai had come to receive me. Now, I was only thrilled as he was there with me.
We had our breakfast in Hotel Canon, the one which I had seen in a TV commercial. To taste Pav-Bhaji that too in this place was like out of this world. Then came the best part of Mumbai- Marine Drive… I don’t know which thing- the drizzle, the cold breeze, the water, the vast stretch, mesmerizing look of the city, made it more magical but it was like I had reached zenith. It was a feeling that I never had in my life before. It was so serene and soothing. I felt like standing there and look at the sea and do nothing. The rain drops made it even more special. People chatted and laughed their hearts out, there were even marriage proposals. Everyone was immersed in themselves. And that is why even in midst of so many people I felt calm and soothing. I wished I could be there forever and that magical moment never ends. This is a place I always go whenever I m in Mumbai. It heals me, ushers in me hope and revives me.
There were lot of places in and around Mumbai and I enjoyed every part of it. The city had a magic in it. Not every part of the city was as magical as Marine drive but still the city has spirits in high amounts. I know every city has its spirits but somehow the spirits of this city reaches upto its people and remains with them forever. Mumbai, the city of dreams…many articles written, many songs sung yet with your eyes you see it a new way and this makes Mumbai stand out. It is ambitious and passionate. It offers you many things yet immerses you in itself. Mumbai, a quest, it makes everyone to follow it and reach upto it and once you are there, it spells you into magic you can never break. Mumbai, an unforgettable wish….
The cold breeze on the face, droplets of rain tickling the cheeks, loosely tied hairs flattering in wind, pleasant smell of the wet mud, melodies playing and a moving bus… forgetting everything in the world, enjoying the bliss in the moment, I felt very special and the music I was listening to made me feel even more special. Screech and the bus halted, I reached my destination and the journey was over… I almost felt it is a film scene and I am the central character of the film, in her introductory scene.
Every day as I go home from the lab, my heart feels so good. It gives me a new life, a strength that at the end of the day I m going to under kind shade of my parents. And this delight acts as the fuel for my imagination to take off.
Taken from a side view, the camera focusing on the main character of the film defining her beauty and importance, this scene will get connected to many viewers; the director of the films may feel. I don’t know about all but definitely it connected with me. I didn’t want to prove it to someone that I was special or beautiful but somehow it gave me a feeling that cannot be expressed but just be felt.