Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bio vs' The Other Sciences...

As most of you know, my younger brother Rama is currently studying Nanotechnology. As part of his course, he is required to take on a few biology subjects. I think it is fantastic because for the first time I have someone at home with whom I can discuss my project in any great detail. All my life I have had to hear my dad and brothers talk about the wonderful world of physics, electronics and communication systems. I had no one to talk to about the fantastic world of biological molecules and the cool things enzymes are capable off. Sad...but true.

So, as you can probably tell, I was overjoyed when I heard that Rama would have to study biology. I also know that if he didn't HAVE to do it, he probably would never have chosen to do it! He has a real dislike for biology.

That brings me to the topic of this post.

When I started university, I went in wanting to major in Chemistry. I had never done any sort of bio at school and I only took first year biology because I had to. I had some the BEST lecturers in first year - and coincidentally, some of the worst lecturers for chemistry, so the switch was made! I was sure that once Rama would start biology, he would give up on Physics (which is his real passion), and become totally amazed by the biological world.

I am extremely sad to admit that that has not happened :'(. Rather, he still hates biology and on top of that, tells me that he doesn't understand it! I find it hard to comprehend how someone could totally get Quantum mechanics, and not understand DNA synthesis! I was telling Rama how simple it all is and how amazingly beautiful Biology is, compared to Physics. He gives me the same lecture, only he gets the subjects the other way around.

This reminded me of Yoomi and Anika at Uni trying to tell me that Chemistry was a lot easier than Bio. I won't ever understand that either. I still dont know how to represent molecules in the Fischer model, or any of that stuff we had to do with stereoisotopes! Is it the L molecules that are biologically active or the D molecules??

I guess we are all wired in different ways and we are all able to understand and appreciate different things.

Isn't it wierd?

OOHH! I also don't understand how anyone can not want to study Science... but i also know that I am a bit wierd like that.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Dearest Hari-lu,

Wishing my dearest, sweetest, most lovable brother Hari and truly wonderful 21st Birthday. I wish I could stop you from getting any older!

Love you heaps and always will... Keep smiling chellam!

Big Hugs and 21 punches...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

It's all good...

Been a bit of a roller coaster week but as I am heading towards the end of it, I think I am reaching a bit of a plateau...

I love this song...

"Upside Down" - Jack Johnson

Who's to say
What's impossible
Well they forgot
This world keeps spinning
And with each new day
I can feel a change in everything
And as the surface breaks reflections fade
But in some ways they remain the same
And as my mind begins to spread its wings
There's no stopping curiosity

I want to turn the whole thing upside down
I'll find the things they say just can't be found
I'll share this love I find with everyone
We'll sing and dance to Mother Nature's songs
I don't want this feeling to go away

Who's to say
I can't do everything
Well I can try
And as I roll along I begin to find
Things aren't always just what they seem

I want to turn the whole thing upside down
I'll find the things they say just can't be found
I'll share this love I find with everyone
We'll sing and dance to Mother Nature's songs
This world keeps spinning and there's no time to waste
Well it all keeps spinning spinning round and round and

Upside down
We'll sing and dance and spread this love around
I don't want this feeling to go away

Please don't go away
Please don't go away
Please don't go away
Is this how it's supposed to be
Is this how it's supposed to be

Monday, May 22, 2006

Out of luck

I have always considered myself extremely lucky. I sometimes think that I have made it this far purely on luck. I have just been lucky all my life. Things have always fallen into place for me and I don't think I have had to put in that much effort for anything.

One of my biggest fears has always been, "What will happen when all my luck runs out??". I used to think about that alot. It would freak me out because I would be left with absolutely nothing.

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking that maybe my luck is leaving me now... slowly. It makes me uneasy and even slightly fearful.

It isn't all bad though, because I know it is a phase and I will get over it. I also believe in myself just a little bit - just enough to not lose hope completely.

Either way, it isn't a nice feeling to have.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


We were robbed about two days ago. It has been a hectic day or two with everyone being a bit edgy.

It is funny when something like this happens because everyone reacts to it differently. My mum was under shock and then she picked herself up. My dad was worried sick about all of us. Rama and I felt like we should do whatever is necessary to get things back on track and Srini manages to see the humour and is a comfort in his own way.

We are all ok, and everything is getting back to normal. Things could have been far worse.

When things like this happen, you always discover something about yourself. I did something that I haven't consciously done since I was a kid. I think other older siblings will relate to this. I used to be the most protective older sister, and I saw that in me yesterday. Not just as a sister, but also as a daughter.

Anyways, all is well now...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing my mum and my grandma a fantastic day.

My parents don't believe in Mother's Day or Father's day - they believe that we should be good to our parents everyday and not just a single day in a year. They think it is a very"Western" celebration... BUT I think it is nice to have an occasion to tell them that they are loved - and I like buying pressies!

I was thinking about this a few days ago... When my mum was my age, she had THREE kids, and was getting ready to leave India and start a brand new life in Fiji. I can't imagine having three kids at this age, or blindly following my husband halfway across the globe to a country that no one knew anything about! I can't get over how much more mature my mum was then, than I am now! Can't beleive how different our lives are!

My mum was talking to this family friend of ours today and they were talking about buying houses. About 8 years ago, we demolished our house and rebuilt our current home. When we were in our old house, we used to ALWAYS have visitors. We had on average, about 10 people staying in the one house! It was a three bedroom house and not particualrly big, but it was always full. One of the main reasons we had to demolish and rebuild was because our house was just too small.

My mum was saying how ironic it was that now that we have a bigger house, everyone is too busy to stay at home. We have all grown up and are rarely at home. With my dad in India, we don't have as many visitors either.

I think the thing that I admire about my mum more than anything else, is her stability. In the last 10 or 15 years, we have all changed so much. My brothers and I have grown-up, we have our own wants and needs. Even my dad has changed. Yet, somehow, my mum has always maintained her role. She is still Jayanthi... the SAME Jayanthi!

To this day, my mum walks around in a saree (often her blouse doesn't match), eats her rice, bargains whenever and wherever she can, talks non-stop, insists on watching her Tamil movies, and is always honest - to almost an awkward degree! I often yell at her for those very things.

"Nalladha oru podavai-ya katindaa thaan enna??" (Why can't you put on a better saree?)
"Shoe-a konja seriyaa thaan podaen!" (Wear your shoes properly!)
"Oru naalaikku, saadam saaptaama thaan iraen!" (Why can't you go without rice for a single day??)
"Aiyooo! Manniiii!! Yen nee ellathukkum bargain pannara??" (MANNII!! Why do you have to bargain for EVERYTHING??)

Yet, I know that it is these very qualities that make my mum, MY MUM!

Just writing this to let my mum know, that I love her just the way she is! She is the one person in my life who I know will never change. Even when everything else around me turns upside-down, I just have to look at her to see something the right way up!

Love my Manni and Amma VERY much! Missing my Grandma heaps!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Going Vegan... temporarily!

I finally got around to seeing my doctor today. I have been feeling sick for a while now, so I thought I should probably drop in and say "Hello" (and give "Aunty" (my doc) the goodies my mum made for her...).

I told her I have been feeling nauseus for days now. After the consult, she said to me, "I think it might be a bug... have you been eating out much?". I said to her, "Not that much - and even if I do, there isn't that much variety in what I can eat - nothing that can make me sick anyway!". I am very much restricted in what I can eat when I go out - it is either Pizza, or some kind of a salad!

Despite that last comment, my doctor told me not to take any dairy products - including cheese and YOGHURT, no fried food, nothing spicy, and I also got asked to avoid lentils. That doesn't leave me with much to eat!!! I am going to die! It is only for a week, but I am seriously going to die! I once stayed without yoghurt for two days and I couldn't do anything on the third day!

Is this what detox is all about??? Is my doctor trying to detox all the yoghurt out of me??? Is that what she is trying to do??? SOMEBODY TELL ME!!!

I went shopping with my mum today, and it was sooo hard to find snacks! Mel - I am probably sounding like EVERYONE else right now, but I seriously don't know how you do it! I have always respected your Vegetarianism - it is one thing to be born a Vegetarian, and another to choose to become one - but now I respect your Veganism a 100 fold more!

However, if I don't die, I might even move to the EVEN healthier side in the coming weeks... who knows! It is sooo hard to predict me!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

This little piggy went to the market...

There are three places that I ABSOLUTELY HATE taking my mum.

1) The Indian Spice Shop!
2) Flemington Markets (for Fruit and Veg)
3) Parklea Markets (Fruit and Veg mainly but also other random gadgets...)

I hate everything about it! I hate looking for a parking spot, I hate how my mum points out spots that are closer AFTER I have parked, I hate the crowds, I hate people screaming out "2 for $3", "$1, $1, $1 yeeeeeaaaa $1, $1, $1...", I hate the crowded aisles, I hate having to hold my breath as I walk past the fish markets and above all I hate how my mum says, "That's all", but keeps looking for stuff!


I took my mum to Parklea today and I was VERRYY good! I drove my mum there and I waited with the trolley. Once she finished with an aisle, she would dump the veggies in my trolley, and keep looking. This way, I wasn't rushing her and she wasn't asking me to look for veggies. I don't even know why she asks me to pick veggies - it isn't like I know the difference between a good coconut and a bad one! However, today was a good day - we didn't get on each other's nerves and we were both very well behaved! I think I deserve an eggless cookie for my efforts!

However, while at Parklea today I was sooo surprised at the number of Indians there. I mean, there is always a large number of Indians at both Parklea and Flemington, but I actually felt like I was in India today! There was just soo many that it felt like you could probably label the fruit and veg in Hindi, and it wouldn't have mattered!

About ten years ago, if you saw an Indian at the markets, you would go up to them and say hello and swap telephone numbers - because meeting other indians was a rare thing. If I was to do that today, it just wouldn't have been possible (there were atleast 70 Indian families at the Fruit and Veg section alone) and it would probably have been a bit odd! "Hi! Are you from India? Yes? Here is my phone number... do come over sometime for some chai!"... (See - that would have been odd!).

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Any old monkey can clone!

One of my first posts on this blog was titled "Vector Difficulties". That was on the 3rd of March, 2005. It is now the 4rth of May, 2006 and it has taken me THIS LONG to get POSITIVE CLONES! I cannot beleive that I have spent 1 year, 3 months and 2 days on this!!!!

However, I think I have encountered EVERY SINGLE problem along the way! For the first few months, I was perfecting my techniques. Then towards the end of last year, I realised that I was actually using the wrong enzyme!!! So I started using the correct enzyme, and again NOTHING!

I decided to start from scratch again this year. This time I realised that there was a restriction site which I had completely forgotten about! Then my competent cells weren't competent, and when they were, I kept loosing my inserts and vectors!

Finally, I got it right!!! TODAY!

This morning:

SW: Have you looked at your paltes yet?
Me: No... it is just going to make me depressed, so I will wait till mid-day or so...
SW: Let me go and look for you!!
DC: She has been having some good cloning vibes lately you know!
Me: I know... but that doesn't mean anything for me!

I then walked over to check out my plates.

SW: Ok.... which plates are you expecting to see colonies on? (She was holiding them and I couldn't see...)
Me: Oh God! There is nothing again? Just one colony would be good on any plate other than the negative control!
SW: Hmmm
Me: Why won't cloning work for me??
SW: Well, there are colonies on your vector only...
Me: Huh?
SW: Hmm... I see more colonies...

She then showed me my BEAUTIFUL plates and I squealed (a bit like I do when I sit in the front seat of a car and the driver goes around a round-a-bout REALLY FAST!)!! I was sooo excited to just see colonies!

I now know that I even have POSITIVE colonies! When I found that out, I was bursting with excitement and I jumped around for a bit and tired myself out... sad but true... :P

I am just going to enjoy this moment while it lasts! I still have to sequence verify and see if my construct will actually express, but YIIPPPEEEE!!!!! (For now...)

("Any old monkey can clone", was one of the first things someone said to me when I told them I was planning to clone...)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sooo proud of you!

I was talking to Yumna yesterday and I was just saying how lately a word to describe how I feel throughout most of the day is "proud".

I am sooo proud of EVERYONE! In particular, my friends from school and uni. Back in highschool we all said we wanted to do various things, now we are all doing those very same things we wanted to! It is such a fantastic thing to see.

I an just so happy for everyone around me.

I dedicate this post to all my school and Uni friends - I just want you all to know that I am EXTREMELY proud of all of you!