Monday, May 30, 2005

End of May allready???

WHAT IS THIS??? I can't believe that May is almost over! 2005 is half gone! Is the Earth spinning faster?? I sometimes think that I am part of some wierd experiment in which *they* are trying to work out just how fast they can make me go before I start to work backwards! I don't think I could cope with things going much faster than they are.

I think Mondays and Tuesdays are the only days of the week that I am actually conscious off. After Tuesday, I seem to skip right on to Monday again!

I should just calm down now...

It was Srini's Birthday yesterday:D HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARI-LU!!! I can't beleive that he is 20! Both my brothers stopped growing for me from when they were about 12. They will always be 12 for me. I woke up a few minutes before him, avoided looking at him and dashed off to the shops to buy him a pressie!! PHEW!

Yesterday was a busy day - but busy in a nice way. Lots to do this week...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Have had a really busy week at the hospital. Apart form being busy, I have also been showing people how to do stuff.

I have been showing people how do certain things in the lab. Where things are kept, how to use the different equipment and so on. It feels really wierd because I don't by any means feel like I know enough to be telling anyone else what to do. My pet phrase this week has been, "I don't know why I do it like this... but this is the way I was taught...".

I remember a few years ago, I wanted to do a PhD - but not do any lab work. I just didn't think that it was my kind of thing. Lately I think I have completely switched!!! I prefer hands-on lab work to reading papers and writing Lit Reviews!

Also, I am no longer the "new kid" in my lab and I am starting to feel more comfortable with the people who work in the same building as me. It takes me a while to truly mingle...but I am slowly getting there...

Monday, May 23, 2005

Star Wars - Episode 3

Yesterday I watched my first ever Star Wars movie. My dad wanted to watch it so he made the three of us plus two of our family friends watch it with him! He took us on a guilt trip, "I always watch movies for you guys [which I would like to add is absolutely not true!], you guys cant even watch one movie for me." It worked!

Srini, Rama, Vidya (another Vidya), Nitya and myself have never seen a Star Wars movie before. We were told that this was the one in which "Annikin Skywalker" finally moves to "The Dark Side" - which basically meant nothing to any of us, but my dad assures me that the connection was needed and that it was "well-handled".

Apart from not understanding a word for the fist half of the movie (we had keep asking my dad who were the good guys and who were the bad guys), and seeing tubelights (or a "saber") swinging for the majority of the second half, the movie was actually enjoyable towards the middle. We got there at 7:15 for an 8:45 show (I didn't even wait that long for Harry Potter!!!) and had to sit right at the front! I now have a stiff neck!

Now I have to watch the rest of the Star Wars episodes to know where this one fits in!

The girl from "Felicity" plays Annikin's wife "Padme", and she really annoyed me! For someone who was so crucial for the plot, I thought her character was handled awfully! She was made to look like a stupid woman and there was not even a speck of nobility or strength in her character. the fact that she couldn't act probably didn't do that much good for the movie either!

I would have enjoyed it more if there was slightly better acting and less tubelight fights - especially when you know that most of them are not going to die (because they feature in later episodes). I just did not see why you needed all that action!

I am going to buy the complete Star Wars episodes and watch it. I am going to understand it even if it means having to sit through hours of inter-galactic wars and wierd hair styles! I will not let terrible acting and hard to pronounce names get in the way of me understanding what the fuss is all about!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Random words of wisdom...

The following things are random things people have told me over the years. I don't think that the people who said these things actually realise how much it has influenced what I am as a person today...

"Death was hard to deal with - until my dad died. After that, it stopped bothering me..." - Technical Drawing Teacher at High school. I don't even know how that topic came about!

"If your eyes hurt... squeeze some lemon juice into it..." Science teacher in Fiji - I must have been 6 or 7 when I heard that! It was the most ridiculous thing I have heard - but I came home and shared this new found knowledge with my mum. Se called my teacher an idiot... I think her exact words were, "Seriyaana loose-u teacher!"

"I am only asking you act this out because I have never seen you angry." My General Studies teacher, asking me to act out "anger" using symbols and facial expressions. It made me realise how other people saw me.

"You have to finish studying before you get married - once you get married you won't be able to study anymore." My friend's mum while driving me to school. I think about this almost everyday.

"The older you get, the faster it goes." The lab technician at my last lab on how fast the year was progressing. It is sooo true!

"You are a truly beautiful person - outside and inside" A girl I went to school with. It really suprised me, because I hardly knew her! It was just a sweet thing to say.

"Your talk was great! You should consider becomming a lecturer." My professor at Uppsala Unversity, Sweden. I think I decided that I wanted to be a lecturer after that.

"You should become a teacher!" when I was 7, I taught an 8 year old the Hindi script. I remember wanting to become a teacher after that! I still do!

"I think everyone is beautiful in their own way." My 14 year old friend on our way home from school one afternoon. It taught me to look at the good in people.

"She should be encouraged to read lots of literature." My Year 7 English teacher on my report card. I think that single comment is responsible for why I am still reading today!

"Her only fault is that she lacks self-confidence." My Year 7 Art teacher to my dad at Parent-Teacher night. I hated her for saying it, but now I realise that she was probably right.

"I am glad we haven't lost you to medicine!" My supervisor last semester. He was glad that I was going into research rather than medicine - and was slightly dissapointed that I had chosen Medical research over Evolutionary biology...

"Oh! I thought you were in high school!" A 11 year old a few weeks ago - it truly made my day!!!

All I can think of at the moment... Its amazing how much influence most of the above comments have had on me.

I wonder how many times I have said things that have truly changed a person's perception of life and themselves...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

My great-grandmother passed away this morning... my grandpa left for India today evening. She has allready been cremated and my grandpa will be dispersing her ashes once he gets to India.

It feels odd being told that we can't do certain things for the next few days - I seem to have escaped much of the stringent rules of mourning that the rest of my family are required to follow.

It is all very strange...

I do not understand why we are not allowed to visit a temple, light a lamp or enter our pooja room. While this may not apply to me, is this not the time when people need GOD in their lives the most? To take that away from people somehow seems wrong to me.

Perhaps 10 days of mourning without prayer or solace is the way in which to pay respect to those who have left us...

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Appa came back on Friday night. Wish he wouldn't talk about leaving for India again though!

Yesterday we heard that my great-grandmother (my grandpa's mum) is apparently really sick and my grandpa is thinking about going to see her.

I don't know many of my relatives back in India. As a result I don't have a true attachment to any of them. Its not to say that I dont like them - I just dont know them well enough. As a result I always feel very odd when I hear about close relatives being ill and even wierder when there is death in the family. I don't know what is the right way to react...

It is a wierd feeling when you hear that your grandma is sick or that your cousin is getting married. You know you should feel sorrow or happiness but its hard to when you don't know them. I know my family back in India mainly thrugh what they cook and how they cook and in some cases, what kind of matresses they have - because all we have time for when we go to India is to visit EVERYONE, eat and leave.

I don't think I am emotional about it - just something I realise and I wonder if this is something that most people living away from relatives feel or is particular to my family. It could very well be particular to us because we have never had relatives outside of India and at the same time we haven't formed any "new" relationships (either through marriage or immigration) to anyone overseas.

At times I crave relatives - then I just think that in place of family we have extremely close family friends who are probably just as good or perhaps better than "family"...

In fact, my whole family is just about to go to dinner with really close family friends...

Compliment of the day:

My mum: Gayu...Coffee super-a potuirrukae!
(Vasishtar vaayaala Brahmarishi!)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Its rather sad...

I got a mail from "George Frances Photography" today. However it said that it was from ""... and I thought it had something to do with a gfp-tagged protein... and was very confused for a few minutes! It was a mail containing my graduation photos... will post those up soon too!

Also, today I microscoped the picture that I am going to use on the coverpage of my thesis. When I said this to a fellow PhD student, he said, "Theses don't have coverpages...". I told him that mine was going to have a coverpage and that the picture I got today would be on the cover of it. When I showed him the picture, he said that I should put it on the front of my thesis.

I'll post the picture and you will all agree with me!

Another PhD student who is writing up now was doing her "fake acknowledgements" today (height of procrastination??)... in it she wrote "I would like to thank Vidya for limiting the places we can go for social gatherings". This was in reference to taking me to "Yum Cha" last year and all I could eat was bean curd and sticky rice! Some of you might remember that episode.

Interesting fact for the day:

If you google "Vidya Vasudevan"... you can look at the number of times I have booked the microscope...

N.B. I have just gone through this post and substituted most of the "!" for "." !(.) I am banning myself from the use of "!"! :P

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Q & A

I encounter the following questions on almost a daily basis!! I am providing you with the answers... so don't ask me:P (I am just feeling colourful!)

5) How come you speak such good Tamil?
4) Why don't you have an Indian accent and why do you have an American accent?
3) When is you grandma/grandpa/dad/mum comming back from India?
2) "Medical Science"... does that mean you are a doctor?
1) How did you turn out so "normal"???

My answers to them...

5) My parents and grandparents speak Tamil at home - so I guess I do too...
4) I left India when I was 5... I don't have an American accent!
3) My dad is comming back on Thursday and my grandma in a few weeks!!
2) Ummm... its more of a research degree...I am "Geneticist / Molecular Biologist"...
1) Who said I was "normal"???

An aside...
At the lab meeting
Supervisor: I was given 15minutes to summarise the work of my 6 PhD students that have submitted in the last 5 years!
PhD Student: So what did you do with the rest of the time?