Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The day the lights went off...

I was walking back from the caffeteria with a friend this afternoon. We were were going up the stairs when all of a sudden the staircase became REALLY dark! We looked at each other and my friend said, "I am glad we didn't take the lift!". When we stepped out on to the corridor for our floor it was all looking very freaky. All the fire doors had closed and there was limited lighting. All the exit signs were glowing and that was about it. We saw a few confused faces on the corridors but nothing too alarming. By the time we got to our labs we were hearing faint beeping noises and all the labs were really dark. All the doors were unlocked and it all felt very strange and eerie.

There was havoc in the labs - everyone was peeping out of their offices and we had all gatheredaround in the tea room. People were discussing the documentry that was on last night about the London bomb blasts and how this reminded them of that... It was slightly amusing (and slightly worrying) to see some anxious faces...

Everyone was waiting for the lights to come back on. We have had powercuts before, but they they never lasted more than a few seconds - sometimes a few minutes. After about 5 minutes, everyone had their own story to tell. One of my colleagues has been working on a really MAJOR experiment, she had put her samples in the ultracentrifuge, and then she couldn't do anything about it. Another person was just about to press "go" on a machine when everything turned itself off - that was lucky! Someone else was working on a grant application - due in tomorrow and the computer turned off.

We were all starting to worry about our freezers. As we were discussing this, we were told that the powercut was actually hospital wide rather than being limited to our building. The generator apparently wasn't working and people were desperately trying to get it to work because we have sick children on operating theatres and accidents and emergency was out of power! Our problems were nowhere near as major as that. We were told to go home because we weren't going to get any power till much later in the evening anyway. So here I am!

I thought about the experiment I was doing. I thought to myself "I don't really need any electrical equipment to do some cell staining." All I need is a pipette, some slides and some reagents. However, it isn't all that easy working in the dark! I am sure it will be ok till tomorrow... I hope...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Perfect couple

My grandparents decided to go to the city to watch the Chinese New Year festivities. I dropped them both of at the station and couldn't help thinking what a great couple they were.

They aren't exactly the loving caring kind of couple - not in the traditional sense anyway. They yell at each other constantly, they drive each other CRAZY, they say the worst things to each others faces and fight constantly! They don't travel together, they like to stay away from each other and always buy two of everything because they don't like sharing. However, whenever one needs the other, they know that they have someone to count on.

I think that is what makes a perfect couple. It is none of this romantic stuff - all those things like remembering birthdays and anniversaries, buying gifts, saying cooey-pass-me-the-bucket things are all things that eventually fade away. While they are all nice, it is all very temporary. What becomes lasting is simply knowing that the other person is there for you. I think you must get to this stage where you realise that you are stuck with them, so you may as well tolerate them. You get used to having the other person around and I think that is romantic in its own way.

After 50years of being married... my granddad still calls my grandma "Papa" (baby)! :D

I am also seeing my parents evolve into a much better "couple" now that they are both growing older... or maybe I am just seeing it now as I AM growing older!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Happy Australia Day!!!

Wishing the nation a very Happy Birthday and the people of the nation a great public holiday! For those of you in India, Happy Republic Day!

Is it just me or was there a much bigger deal about Australia Day this year than ever before? I mean, its always been a great day but have we always had big fairs, concerts outside the parliament house and live TV coverage? I thought there was a lot more hype this year... it is possible that I just missed it in previous years...

I was going to say stuff about patiriotism, the recent riots, making it compulsory to sing the national anthem in all public and private schools and other issues. However, I have come to the conclusion that I don't really have anything to say about any of that. So I will end this post by wishing everyone a lovely day!

Qu: Is it possible to be a racist, patriotic individual in a multicultural country?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Looong week...

Will this week neevverrr end???I just feel like its dragging on and on and on! I know I say this now, but once the week does end, I will say, "Now where did that week go??" Isn't that strange?? I think it is because I don't do enough during the week, and when it ends I find out that I didn't do nearly as much as I should have!

I am parked in a side street behind the hospital today and in order to get to it I have to walk through a car park, over a bridge, through the bushes by the creek - where I can wave hello to the ducks* and the one lizard..., up a mini hill and down a residential street. Normally this is a lovely walk, however, it is past 7:30pm now. Despite it being summer, I just looked out the window and it looks quite dark! When it gets dark like this, I normally turn on my mobile phone and use it as a sort of torch - but my phone has just died on me! I want you all to pray that I get to my car in one piece!!!

Soooo hungry! I feel like chocolate, but its a loooong walk to the cafeteria and I am too lazy to do that. I also could be microscopying right now, but I just turned everything off and locked the door.

Why does everything have to be so hard???

Soooo over it all!

Have a meeting with my supervisor tomorrow - I should probably prepare for that...

All I want right now is a bar of chocolate, a comfy cushiony chair, a fluffy pillow, my grandma's strong filter coffee (without sugar) and a good book!

* Where do the ducks go when it rains? I walk past this creek almost everyday and when it rains, these ducks disappear! Te minute the rain stops, they miraculously reappear! HMMMM... I wonder...

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Kaaka pidi vechaein, (One for the crow)
Kannu pidi vechain, (One for the cow)
Kaaka-kum kurivi-kum kalyaaaanam (The crow and sparrow are getting married...)

(I don't think that I have the translation quite right!)

Wishing everyone a very happy Pongal, Ugadhi, Sankaraanthi, Lori and any other festival that I may have missed!

Friday, January 13, 2006

So Me!! :P

I bought a t-shirt yesterday that says, "I know I am not perfect, but I am so close, it scares me!"



Boghi / Pongal Nalvazhthukkal!

Pongaloo Pongal x 3!

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I find it very amusing that even today, my parents - and several other Indian parents, still think that seeing how well two pieces of paper match is the best indication of how compatible two people are! "That paper seems to be yellowing... too old!", "Ooooo... A5! Classy!!".

I got to see my own horoscope today. I have never really seen my own horoscope before, so I was interested in some of the things it contained. There were a series of grids (3 X 3), which apparently indicate the positions of the different planets and stars and what they were doing when I was born.

Here is a list of interesting things I picked up from my horroscope...

Caste: "Vaishnava Vadagalai Iyengar"
Date Born (Tamil): 13th day in the month of "Ayppasi"
Time of birth: 9:32 pm
Star I was born under: "Magam" (My grandma often says, "Maga-thin penn Jagathai-ye aaluva" meaning, "A girl born under the star, "magam", could rule the world"... Exxxcceellaant!)
Zodiac (In accordance with my Star): Leo
Zodiac (In accordance with the Sun): Scorpio
Ruler of my Indian Zodiac: The Sun
Ruler of my Western Zodiac: "Bhudhan" (Saturn or Mercury...- I find it hard to remember the Tamil names for the different planets!)
The EXACT Co-ordinates of my place of birth (Tirupati): 79 Deg. 20 Mins East, 13 Deg. 40 Mins North.
Day: Sunday
Sunrise on that day: 6:06am
Sunset on that Day: 5:46pm
"Thidhi" (I don't know what that means): "Dasami" - 10th day after a New moon...

Apart from the above, I also happen to know all the co-ordinates of the different planets at the time of my birth! HA! BEAT THAT!

What I want to know is, who sits inside the hospital with a compass and a telescope and says, "Right...40.376 North...22.465 East...Did you get that??". How acurate do you think the bearings are? What if the person taking down the measurements was really not feeling upto it and so just made up the numbers?? Do people go back and check?? Can I blame him, if I end up with the wrong person??

What I find really amusing is that, despite all that information, there is no indication as to how much I measured or weighed, nothing to say whether it was a normal pregnancy or if I was born with any genetic disorders! I am sure that a prospective life partner would be more interested in knowing about the horn on my head than the co-ordinates of Haley's comet at the time of my birth! (Unless of course he happens to be an astrophysicist. Let's not even get into how wierd they are!) "She has below average intelligence and is missing a lip - but look at the coordinates of Saturn!! When you add her co-ordinates to yours, you can almost spell "prefect" which happens to be an anagram of "perfect"!". Match made in heaven indeed!

I find it hard to believe (but, easier to accept), that the course of my life - and that of several others, ultimately comes down to some Trigonometric calculations...

"All Psychology is Biology.
All Biology is Chemistry.
All Chemistry is Physics.
All Physics is Maths."
- Some Mathematician...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The by-gone year

Well it is here! 2005 is gone FOREVER! A whole 365 days - where did it all go? What did I do last year?? Lets See...

January: Bludged my way through Jan. I was waiting to see if any Uni would be willing to have me in their lab - and pay me for my presence:P

February: My old lab said "We will take you!!". Being only 20minutes from home, I couldn't refuse!

March: Offcially started a "PhD in Medicine"! Spent the whole month trying to explain to people that it had nothing to do with me being a practicing doctor! "Yes I will be a Doctor of Medicine...but don't come to me if you think you might be having a heart attack!!!"

April: Got plenty of wonderful results!

May: Brother turned 20. Continued to get plenty of wonderful results!

June: Dad got back from India, and told us he was planning to go back for good! Found out that all my results meant absolutely nothing!

July: Dad left for India. Mum went with him for a few weeks. Started to stress about Annual Presentation. Got my first publication!

August: Annual Presentation!! Dad settled in India. Decided that I wanted to go to India too! Planned to visit collaborators in Perth.

September: Worked hard on PhD thing. Tried to organise a trip to Perth. Organised to leave for India in October!

October: That was a BIIG month! Rama turned 18. Went to Perth - got exciting results. Went to India - didn't get married - YAAY!! Played with fire crackers. Turned 22!

November: Spent time in India. Rama finished his HSC. Came home. Met loads of people!

December: Approached family about something that had been bothering me for years. Sorted things out and learnt to let go! Rama got his results! YAAYYY!!!

Now I am ready to face 2006 with a smile, a shrug and for the first time, even a fist should I need it!