Monday, October 18, 2010

Crazy times

I have practically no time to sit and breathe. Yet I felt like writing. Migrain attack Wednesday, night to finish problem set 5 Thursday, A sad demise of a dear one Friday , Lab and practise sessions Saturday-Sunday, Journal club presentation Monday, Lab meeting presentation Tuesday, Journal club presentation again Wednesday, Seminar presentation Thursday, Problem Set 6 due Friday, lab project lagging behind, dance choreography, music coordination, dance participations, making lab inventory, settling accounts, guilts of not keeping in touch with people...and to top it all up, disappointing my advisor today....really....I feel like a mess!

Still, there seems to be a positivity I havent felt before in such tough times. Something that pushes me to keep going, something that tells me to take it up as a challenge. I feel lucky to have some people with me through all this...

And goes on...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A sudden gush of wind

Sometimes you just impulsively feel like doing something. Right now I felt that for writing a post. I don't know what I want to say, but it seems like there is loads...

Its been crazy of late - an 8.30 class every morning, a problem set due every week, a journal club and a lab meeting presentation, topped with three papers to read at the last moment before a seminar, mentoring an undergraduate, settling accounts, making a poster for a conference, getting some travel documents endorsed...and the list goes on.

I didn't sleep last night, I almost slept off right under the professor's nose in the seminar, I havent eaten lunch today, and I have a heap of an assignment to do. But amidst all this, I feel blissful...

I love my new apartment. I am remembering a friend's painting I saw yesterday which has filled me up with creative thoughts. I am in total awe of a friend who has been there through thick and thin and literally been my best friend. I feel absolutely happy about getting back a friendship with a dearest of dear friends. I feel closer to my roommate and have a new level of affection for her. I am dying to meet some of my most favourite people next week.

Basically as a friend's blog title reads, I'm lovin' it!!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ripples in the water

I think this would be the most abstract post I have written so far. So I guess its no point trying to make sense out of it.

Sometimes in a calm lake, without any warning, you would see ripples. These ripples do not sustain for a very long time, but even as they are there and disturbing the serenity of the lake, you know they will leave, and you patiently wait till they leave... Sometimes they are quite strong and are capable of shaking you, but sometimes even if they just tickle you for a bit, you enjoy the pleasing sensation. You know you wouldn't want these ripples or the tickles to last too long, yet you immerse yourself fully in them and wait for them to leave, to die down. Resisting them doesn't help, because you don't see the actual warmth of these ripples until you actually let go for a while and let them take over you. Its something like a beautiful experience which could turn dangerous if lasted too long...

Life does offer these ripples once in a while, trying to sway you from your natural and preplanned stream of approaching the river, doesn't it? :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The City of Four Lakes

Wow, this is the fourth post in the last week or ten days. Am I on a roll or what !! I guess thats how it happens with me, a phase of very frequent writing, and then a really long break. Its ok I guess...its more natural this way :)

So what am I writing about today? Lots of things on my mind. Lots of floating thoughts, happy and heavy. The title of this post doesn't really describe the place, but the way I see this place as of today. Its so true that a place is defined by the people in it! Till a few months back, I was still stuck in the past, in the place I spent the last four years of my life in. It was the uncertainty of which lab to join, a new country, new people, and a new life altogether. I wasn't sure if it was the right decision, leaving behind a place I was so attached to. Mom used to say give it some time, you'll get attached to this place too. But I somehow couldn't move on. The Madison winter didn't help either. The bitter cold, nowhere to go except for lab and friends which didn't really feel like real friends. It was more like a group of unrelated different people who just stay together due to circumstances. And I thought, 5-6 years of PhD is a long time...I wanted it to go by quickly...

Today, the scenario is totally different. The past is a chapter now, with good and bad memories but cherished ones...having its own place in my life. But I have found a new place in my heart for Madison now. The summer here is beautiful, the lake is just breathtaking! Sitting by the lake with friends, quietly with your own thoughts, enjoying the live music, or with the webcam making use of technology :) My lab is my second home. I feel really at home here, with my supervisor being one of the best things that could have happened to me. I love working on my project, it motivates me to get to lab even if I am physically not feeling fine. In fact even a day without going to lab makes me feel a little depressed. The friends are more than just friends now...we are all a family. In sickness or fun, in a new purchase or a sudden planned trip, we all are equally enthusiastic about each other's lives. One of us recently bought a car. It doesn't seem like its his car...its 'our family car'. Yesterday we had a sleepover at someone's place. That house didn't belong to any of us, but we had great fun, playing pictionary, taking a short walk, or singing in the dark till 3 am in the morning. Sometimes certain barriers are just broken if you spend a few hours together away from your usual dwelling place. I felt closer to each one of them yesterday. I just felt like going and hugging each one of them and telling them how much they mean to me. In fact my roomie was the apple of my eye yesterday. I actually felt 'love' for her!!!! Hehe of course in a totally straight way :P I felt like hugging and kissing her just the way I feel for my kid sister. Its an inexplicable feeling. Most often in the everyday fast routine, people don't express much. But I realise that's what makes me happiest, expression of feelings, warmth, love :)

Another thing I strongly feel is that there is nothing like being totally yourself...totallyy yourself !!!! I feel like a certain liberation, that I am happy with myself. After a long time :) You know, I secretly appreciate the little things about Indian culture which are tagged as so 'bollywoodish', or 'old-fashioned', or 'uncool'. For instance, being a little cautious about what you wear, feeling shy about certain expressions of love, and just...I don't know, hard to put in words. Over the last couple of years, I was trying so hard to be someone I am not, to hide these aspects of mine, to please others, to just prove myself. I don't feel the need anymore. I feel content the way I am. One of my roomies actually gave me some inspiration on this front. She's very atypical, very unique and is very transparent and straight-forward. We all make fun of her most of the time, but I am sure all of us (and one particular person the most) admire her a lot for the way she is and the way she doesn't try to change herself. Till a certain time I used to feel its because of so many admirers around her, but slowly I realised its the other way round. She has so many admirers (including me) because she is the way she is from inside. Its such a beautiful feeling to just feel beautiful, no matter how you are, and not let the world decide what you do and how you do it. I don't have any regrets or doubts or any inhibitions anymore about the way I am...and I am going to live my life, my way :)

A bit of trivia -

1. I have two friends - one who curves her lips like a beak/'chonch' while speaking cute stuff, n one who curves his lips like a beak while drinking something!

2. I plan to name my first dog - Muffin :)

3. Today marks the inception of RAJMA (or R3AJMA). One step ahead from Vibgyor (Post - 27th Feb 2010)

4. I should get back to Cell free protein expression now!!!


And you too Madison :) Want these years to stretch...these would be MY years :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My insides are screaming!

I really like this phrase. Its so descriptive. The beauty of the phrase lies in the double-meaning it holds. Perhaps the 2nd meaning would be understood only by women.

When you are frustrated with something so bad, there is something that's always itching, something always provoking you to do something. You have to control it. The more you control it, the more it itches. And then as it all accumulates, it finally comes out in one blow, when you think you have reached the 'screaming-inside' phase. The outcome of it is different for different people of course, some shout it out, some go into their shell and so on. That was the first meaning.

The second explanation of this phrase is more literal than figurative. A sensation which truly makes you feel that there is something inside you that is screaming - every cell in the body longing for more oxygen, every muscle in your body throbbing and pushing against your skin. It makes you experience the true meaning of 'wear and tear'. Imagine that a part of your body is rotting, one by one everything starts shedding - cells, tissues, and the multitude of other components comprising your body. Would you just sit and watch it happen? No, you would put some ointment, bandage it, prevent it, make sure you don't stress it, and let it heal. Now imagine the same thing inside out. That every cell and tissue is tearing off from inside your body. The pain is so much that it percolates from being localized to being global. Your whole body is just 'tearing apart' from the inside, and neither can you touch it, nor can you bandage it. You can just sit and bear it. This is what could more accurately be understood by the above phrase. You literally feel the scream from within, and cannot do anything about it. Well of course there are ways to subdue the 'massive internal erosion', but I personally consider them unnatural and disturbing to the ways to nature. Sometimes you just feel like hitting yourself, you try to help by externally applying pressure to soothe the inside, but its all temporary. All you can think of is a pair of hands that could just squeeze you all over to relieve you off the pain for a whole day. But then again, that's impractical, over-expecting, and all the other adjectives that collectively mean - can't be done. While sitting in a group meeting today, all I could think of was stretching out somewhere, tighten every muscle so that I cannot feel the screaming. But work doesn't stop. Its a part of life...the show has to go on...

Sigh...even as I write this, my insides are screaming and trying to bombard my mind with disillusioned states of fury, pain, discomfort and all the related. But I know, neither this post, nor anything else will make this day pass by faster. Its just something we have to live with, and try to look at the brighter side of it - the strength we gain by bearing this time and again...

Sunday, July 18, 2010


So much to it. There are complications, there are simplicities, there are joys, there are heartbreaks, there is love, there are misunderstandings...but collectively, each one is such a rich experience. And it is unique with every different person. I don't like the term boyfriend/girfriend/best friend/good friend etc. To me they are all relationships. Different relationships with every different life form, be it a fellow human being, a fish, a plant, or even oneself. Well of course the more complex the life form, the more are the number of colours in the sack of balls, each day throwing out a different colour. For instance neither can I have a misunderstanding with my fish, nor can my plant break my heart by itself ! But with the human its a different story all together...or rather different stories altogether.

There are four different people that I can think of right now who in this phase of my life are throwing out the maximum number of coloured balls to me.

One is this person I know for the last 3.5 years now and who means a lot to me. Things are new and different, they are pleasantly surprising, but they make me wonder how much to believe in their permanence (if thats a word). Something makes me feel that the moment I sit back, relax and start totally relishing the new brighter colours, they'll fade back or get replaced by older colours.

Then there is this other person with whom I had a kind of a fall back of late. We were going really strong for the last one year, and one unexpected incident changed things. The colours were varied and frequently brightening my day each day for the past year but of late have suddenly turned grey. I know I could make the change myself as its me who is a little set back right now. This person has been trying to really put the colours back but I guess its just me who is not accepting them. Maybe I need time.

Third there is another person who has become very close recently. Now I am even scared to say that, again because I somehow have lost faith in defining closeness. Everything is so temporary. But growing up has somewhat taught me to even accept that happily and enjoy the present as long as it sustains without thinking of the future. Oh and I love talking, which is something I can't do equally with everyone. So its very comforting to be able to just talk so freely with this person.

And then finally there is this person who I haven't regularly been in touch with, more off and on. There are good and bad memories attached to this person. I chose to just remember the good ones. But a recent conversation brought all the hurtful memories back...the neutral colours changed to dark fiery ones. It made me cry and feel that same stinging sensation again, which I had put behind me.

So yes, its been eventful, and guess I am thankful to whoever is planning these events in my life. There is so much to relationships, there is so much to just expressing yourself...there is so much that one can do. I love being totally myself...and im sure everyone does. But you cant do that all the time with everyone. Most of the times there is this mask we have to wear...and then once in a while that mask gets uncovered, releasing beneath it either a beautiful face or a worn out ugly side. Yes I think this is what I am most passionate about in life, the relationships that make up my life, without which, I don't know what I would do. :) Its cool to be all 'independent'...but I guess I am ok with admitting that I am not cool. I need these relationships to survive, they define me. And I am not going to let anything or anyone stop me from expressing to and living my relationships to the fullest.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lakefront at Langdon

Finally doing it. I have been waiting for this day for a long time now, n finally its here. Sitting by the lake, with terrace pizza and a soda, a roomie as a friend, and my laptop...I am experiencing what is understated as bliss... Nothing like sitting here and staring into infinity and beyond...gathering all the past thoughts...drowning the negatives into the lake and using the setting sun's rays to encourage myself on various aspects of life...

A lot is on my mind. I am not particularly sure about what I want from life...but...I am not stressed...Im not upset. I am in fact living it, n lovin' the uncertainity. For the first time after a long long time, maybe years...I feel like I am being totally myself without any fear of being judged. And...being me is fun :)

Water can have such a calming effect on the makes me think of each and every element involved in water. Basically its just Hydrogen n Oxygen...but a perfect combination of the two which provides for one of the most abundant and basic necessities of life. Why am i saying this? I don't know...I just feel like it...n the best part is I am not hesitating thinking that someone reading this post would be judging me, would be questioning the relevance of this post etc. A friend recently just spoke a few wise words which caught me, and I quote, "sabsa bada roge, kya kahenge loge"...which literally translates to - the biggest disease is the fear of being judged by people. Its amazing how the mind picks up the facts it needs the most at the right time...makes one feel there really is someone monitoring the way your life proceeds.

One of the most important facets of my life has been a little shaky of late. But, thats not important anymore. Whats important is that I am calm about it...and again, after a long time, my faith has formed its grip over me. I just feel like being a spectator now, and witnessing the way life unfolds with a completely unbiased tilt.

And the music behind is getting me grooving...its so cooooooolllll...sitting here! The sunlight kissing one cheek of mine, the wind blowing my hair from the other direction, the water giving the calming effect, the sound of music, and the vast space ahead of me. Its like the elements of nature, all dancing to the tune of Vanessa Mae and A.R. Rehman in Raaga dance (
...a creation I am yet to translate very soon from my mind into depiction of an expression of Unity in Diversity.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'll be the change I want to see in people


Want to figure out what that is? I would leave to you, my dear readers :) Interpret it your way and let me know what you think it could mean. If you can't, dont worry about it. I hope to reveal it someday...

I feel different today, different than what I have been feeling since years about certain aspects of life. I want to be the white screen, devoid of all the other things life has taught me. I just want to be me, with a smile :)

Love me for who I am, hate me for who I am, curse me for who I am, praise me for who I am. Ultimately the bottomline is, I am me...and that is the biggest truth of existance. It holds for everybody. So lets take our masks off, lets take our pretence off and look at each other. What do we see? We see a white screen, a baby, a child, that just needs love, and nothing else.

The rest doesn't matter...

To begin with, I will apply this change towards my labmate, whom I had mentioned in my previous post...and I am sure I will someday see the reflection of my pursuit...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Burning down the lab, spilling acid over myself, and getting mad at a labmate!!

Could have been the worst day of my lab. I might have just been in the hospital for severe burns today, but I got lucky. Not once but twice! While doing the TFA cleavage in the chemical hood, as I was adding air into the cap for it to be completely drained, pop!!!! The whole cap just burst spilling TFA filled resin all over the hood! I thanked my starts for having been careful and pulling the hood panel down just before doing this. I remember doing this stuff before and not closing the panel properly. PHEW!!! TFA burns...I wouldn't have enjoyed that one!

A couple of hours later, I was melting a glass rod in the biological hood this time using a bunsen burner. Thats easy, its hardly anything! Just hold the tip of the rod to the fire n enjoy seeing it transform. All of a sudden, the fire is huge and it catches the rubber pipe on top of it! The hood is on fire! I screamed for help and amidst the panic it didn't even strike me to switch off the gas outlet! 2 guys came running and by then I had gathered my neurons together to be able to switch the gas off. The lab would have been on fire!! It could have just caught me or my clothes instead of the tube! PHEW AGAIN!!!! We changed the tubing, and made sure there wasnt any leakage. Thanks to the guys around we didn't burn... but my heartbeat is still triplle!

There's a person in my lab, who is one of the most rude and insolent people I have met so far in this city. She was so horrible today! And yes, I did give it back to her in my way today. I have been taking it for quite some time, but today was a limit! Just cuz shes been here a year before us doesnt give her the right to behave this way with us. And shes not our PI! The way she speaks to us ordering us around and all! We are grad students...not some kindergarten kids or fools who don't understand anything.

What a day it has been. And its still not over...I need to get home late tonight..I wonder what else in in store for me today...

When an inner self dies...

Sometimes life takes a turn of events in such a way that you have no control over them. Sometimes you try to control the way the events turn in your life. There is a constant fight between the practical and the way of the heart. I want to forget and just move on. There is so much that I need to do, but its as if some part of my body, from deep inside has got all its cells black and clumped together, somewhere around the chest region. Im trying to breathe hard to lighten them, to release them from being stuck to each other this way. But I don't know if these cells are dead or dying. If they are already dead, will I be able to restore them? Or will they be replaced ever? I hope they haven't given up yet...and are just waiting for the optimum splurge of life that would swell them up again with vigour, excitement, hope and beauty!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


7 colours...distinct, yet beautiful together. This is how I feel at the moment. We just celebrated a friend's birthday...and got high on ice cream, dancing, drinks, friendship, emotions, songs and basically all colours of life. Its 3 am, but I feel really content, and at peace.

I saw, or rather discovered some new aspects of some of my friends, which brought a smile on my face. In this fast paced world, it was nice to see some intense friendship and emotions, even if it was the alcohol that spilt it out. I saw one of my friends sing with the most genuine and truest passion ever...I found out that he has an amazing voice. I also discovered that he is a very intense friend...just never expresses. I saw him console another friend in a very caring manner...something I didnt think he would do. I saw another friend cry his heart out...with the freedom of a little child...something which no one shows these days. We laughed, we danced, we sang, we just basically had a great time.

Its amazing to see a group of strangers evolve into close friends. I will miss C when she leaves soon so much, shes suchh a sweet and cheerful and considerate and selfless person. I never really thought of this but I will miss her. I am really happy to see JKG and Rshit...:) very cute couple...:) Another little thing keeps shut most of the time in her room with D(square)...but has the most amazing smile when shes in the spirits...and of course the 2 others I spoke about before. We are all different flavours...when put together in the right amount creating a satisfying dish....that of friendship and happy moments. I danced my heart out today...after a longgg time...and spent some memorable moments. I will remember this day...27th Feb 2010

:) VIBGYOR...thats how I would define the seven of us :)

Friday, February 12, 2010


I cant believe it!!! I am doing the YES!+ course again soon :):):):)

Im soooooo excited :D

I had never thought I would get so involved or look forward to something so much...

Sometimes I feel...maybe Shilpa Rau was right???


Cool na? 2 posts back to back with totally contradictory seems my bloggie answered my prayers...the moment I got back in touch you caressed me and served me with the right path on a silver platter :)


Im back...

Wow...5 months. Its been so long I blogged. But then things became hectic. The semester was just crazy, and then the India trip and everything. Now its back to where I am, studying, working...and just living life I guess.

I have been hurt a lot in the past few days. Why does this happen? Is it my fault? Maybe it really is. I go out of the way so much to do things for people that I end up expecting in return. And no one is able to meet that expectation. I dont think I expect too much, but I guess thats because thats nothing for me. Its an effort for others. I really really go too much out of the way for people. I mean why do I do that? Cuz it comes naturally to me. Why does it at all come naturally to me?

I am really not happy about this aspect of mine. I take too much tension, and I do too much for people and think too much about things. I care too much. I really want to be able to just not be so attached. How can I do that without being bitter at heart? I had dedicated a song to someone which had a line saying, "dont let some hell bent heart leave you bitter"...but the same is happening to me. Its not one hell bent heart. Its just me being so different from most people. Cuz I make myself prone to being hurt. I really want a solution for this. Someone who can teach me how to love without expecting...who can?

Really, I want to just do that. I want to not expect anything. Can anyone help me please?

A note to the generous ones...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Please read on, at your own risk ;) And feel free to scold, advise, comment, reprimand, praise or just simply say 'hmm' :)