Journey of life

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Master Stroke

This is "M.K. Iqbal of Parry & Co leaving the field after a scintillating batting display against India Cements in The Hindu Trophy finals (1968) at the Marina grounds." It's from this interesting piece about cricket in Madras in the pre-technology era.

This picture reminds me of a gem of an innings played by my uncle N.L. Narasimhan some time in the late nineties in a Blue-Star (or a friendly) match at the PS High School ground in Chennai. He scored just 25 runs or something (if my memory serves me right) but it was a brilliant display of strokeplay, which also took his team to victory.

It was around 4 pm, and a huge crowd had gathered around the ground. They were all waiting for this match to end, so that they could start their daily/weekly tennis-ball matches. The crowd were taken by surprise when they saw him flick the ball off his pads nonchalantly through mid-wicket for four, with such elegance as is usually associated with the likes of GR Vishwanath and VVS Laxman. That's when it struck me that we were in for a treat. The crowd watched the rest of his innings in awe and applauded and cheered each and every shot. And when his team won, they all walked back with him to the pavilion and many of them took his autograph.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

"for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome"

7 October 2009

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2009 jointly to

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Thomas A. Steitz, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

Ada E. Yonath, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

"for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome"


One of my most favorite subjects. Infact, it's one of the subjects I wanted to pursue after graduation, but life had other plans. Following is an excerpt from an essay I wrote long ago (final year of graduation) about my career interests at that point:

Chemistry is a subject full of surprise and adventure. One can always learn something new whenever he/ she enters a chemistry lab, and the study of life through the eyes of chemistry (biochemistry) is what interests me most. This interest in chemistry was generated by an extremely dedicated chemistry teacher in my last two years of schooling and a wonderfully interesting professor of organic chemistry, Prof.S.Govindarajan, in my second semester at college.

Biochemistry and molecular biology are subjects in which lots of new things are discovered every day, or rather every moment, but still there is so much more to explore. This is exactly the reason why I want to master these subjects.

Congratulations to the laureates!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Maps and World History

No, I'm not going to post the syllabus of some History (or Social Studies) exam.


Well, it's that time of the year, once again, when I feel guilty for not posting regularly. Actually, that occurs more often than the number of times I take the next (big) step, logging in and posting.

Of late, I have become a cartographer of sorts. The maps I create, though, are not route maps or geographical maps. They are process maps. Microsoft Visio is quite an interesting (albeit expensive) software and since one needs to understand each process thoroughly in order to map it well, the learning curve is quite steep. Sounds like I'm having fun right? Well, I am, most often, when the deadline is not lurking in the corner. I didn't count amongst the 'deadline dudes' for nothing, in one of my very first assignments in the corporate world. I must say that my estimation skills have improved by leaps and bounds but the last minute rush and anxiety still remains.

As always, my "to read" list is increasing exponentially. I have started 'Glimpses of World History' and I really hope to finish it sometime soon. Having read the first couple of chapters, I think the man was a genius - no wonder he commanded such respect and led such a large, diverse, and "unnatural" nation, which was then just a nascent democracy and an "unlikely" one at that. Do watch this superb Ramachandra Guha interview, about 'India After Gandhi' (which I hope to read some time soon) where he explains why he thinks India is an "unnatural nation and an unlikely democracy".

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Gift from a friend

By the way, that picture was taken at our engagement. This post is actually the response to the comments here.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year

A year goes by
new one begins
full of hope

Yes, among other 'hopes', I do hope to post regularly this year.

Monday, March 10, 2008

This post was originally written on my flight from Chennai to Calcutta on 18th November 2007. It's just random rambling, about which I had thought earlier but never got down to writing. And my crazy schedule and enormously hectic work have ensured that it's coming on to 'ze blog' only now.

Sometimes I feel flight (in an aeroplane) is quite similar to realization of (and living) a dream. The most exciting part is the take off, just as working towards a dream, and all the effort put into achieve it, is. At the same time, it is the toughest part, as well. Then, just when you are going to achieve your dream, that is the lift off, you feel like you are being pulled down and there is some sort of a humbling experience. But once you get through that, you are there; you've acheived your dream and are living it!

Many a time, you feel normal while you are flying and you go about business, as usual (reading, writing, eating and so on), but sometimes the dream is not as smooth as it seemed; there's turbulence and problems due to the weather, clouds and other external factors.

And after a while, it's time to land. One needs to come back to where he/she began (certainly at a different point in time and at a different place), dream more (and new) and work hard towards those new dreams and goals. Every flight, I feel, is a miniature depiction of living a dream. You prepare, you work hard, you achieve your dream, live it and then go back to dream some more and try & achieve those new dreams, work towards achieving them and live them again.

One more thing which comes to mind is that sometimes you can see the ground while you are up there. Sometimes you are too far above and many a time, all you can see is beautiful clouds all around. That gives one the feeling of actually being up there on cloud nine. :)

P. S.:- It also seems apt because almost everyone wants to fly and dreams of flying. And pilots live their dream of being a pilot, every time they fly! :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Aadmi bulbula hai pani ka,
Aur pani ki bahti satah par,
Tootta bhi hai, doobta bhi hai,
Phir ubharta hai, phir se behta hai,
Na samandar nigal saka isko,
Na tawareekh tod paaiee hai,
Waqt ki mauj par sada behta,
Aadmi bulbula hai pani ka!
Gulzar saab is a master poet! And his recitation of these awesome verses, before the song called 'Zindagi kya hai' (album: Koi Baat Chale), is brilliant. I had put this up as my gtalk status line and the snowbeak asked for a line-by-line translation. The following is what I could come up with:
Man's a bubble of water,
And on the flowing surface of water,
He bursts, he drowns,
Then he emerges, and then again he flows,
Neither could the sea engulf him,
Nor could the annals destroy him,
Flowing eternally on the waves of time,
Man's a bubble of water!
Another friend saw the translation and tried to correlate this to the laws of Physics. He said that the bubble is smallest when it's deep below the surface and its size slowly increases as it reaches the surface, where its size is maximum. And then it bursts. So, he said that water here is like problems and troubles and reaching the surface is some sort of an achievement and you literally get a 'breather' once you've achieved something.