Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Sometimes I think back and wonder what would have happened if I had taken another path. None of this laser science business, art and words instead. I heard a talk the other day about parallel universes and how the theory is that there are infinite parallel universes and you have explored every choice in some universe. I wonder whether I am the same age in all universes. I wonder how the Amrita with an Art History major is doing. Is she sleeping wrapped in newspaper in New York because she cannot afford a house or is she rubbing shoulders with the Elite and valuing art works at Sotheby's, sipping champagne and eating caviar (that she has developed a taste for, having hung out with the aforementioned elite). Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I chuck it all and start over. Sometimes I am tempted, very tempted. And then (good?) sense prevails and I think I should finish what I started.
On another note, I slept in my bed yesterday as opposed to the couch. It is getting warmer and so I can manage with the dysfunctional heater and turns out beds are the best for sleeping! After several weeks I had a good night's rest and did not wake up in a murderous rage. Isn't it just the worst feeling waking up with aching limbs, runny nose and a headache.
The plans tonight are to eat Ethiopian food and play Mario Kart. Yippekayay!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fame and the mundane

The radio gig is done and needless to say it was a very exciting experience. The guy interviewing me really knew his stuff and even made me think on my feet with a few questions about a single photon source developed at the Univ. of Melbourne.
The podcast of the competition speech has been released and when I listened to myself - I sound like a ten year old! Anyhow, the weekend passed by in a blur and I can barely remember when Friday ended and Monday began. I feel like going home, curling up on the couch with a mug of hot something and either watching TV all day long or reading a book. Such thoughts are natural on a murky cloudy day but what warrants such thoughts when the sun is out - I do not know.
A ton of things have been done and a ton more await however I take solace in the fact that one way or another this PhD will be out of my hands, this time next year. Whether 'done and dusted' or 'tried and failed' is yet to be seen.
Why this positivity? Well I'm sleepy. Sleep deprived. Yawning. Want to go to bed. Eyelids 'a droopin. But I have yet to go sort out the electricity bill so, everybody, we're back to the mundane!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Gig

Thank you everyone for the warm wishes and responses on the previous blog posts. Continuing with the celebrity type things, I opened my email yesterday to find that a presenter from the local radio network 98.3 fm had seen the Canberra times article and wants me to appear on a science show called 'Fuzzy Logic' this Sunday! So wish me luck one and all as this will be my second radio gig. The first one was for being a volunteer tutor for refugee children in Auckland and was a very interesting experience.
Somehow I feel that I would be less comfortable had this been a TV gig. Only because apart from worrying about what one has to say, one also has to worry about how one looks on TV. Radio - one less worry.
Friday is here and never have I looked forward to the weekend so much. The weeks are now packed, overflowing, full to the brim, bursting at the seams... you get the picture. It is all I can do to stumble home after gym, dance, netball or whatever else it was that I got myself into, make dinner and hit the sack - which, incidentally, is my couch for the last three weeks. The heater in my room has not been working well and I haven't had time to get it fixed so it is either freezing on the comfy bed in the room or slumming it on the couch and staying warm. Those that know me know that I would pick the warmth any day. Half a thought is to wheel the bed out to the drawing room but that idea has been vetoed by the sister who already cribs about me sleeping on the couch. All I want this weekend is some R&R. Days are getting longer again and the sun is peeking out so all is looking up on the weather front.
Enjoy the weekend everyone! Those of you who live in Canberra, tune in at 11.30 on Sunday!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Do I make you proud?

I have been MIA from the blogosphere the last few weeks because real -lifeosphere has taken over and I log in today to find what - they have changed blogger layout and me no like.
Anyway so lots of fun has happened the last few weeks and let me start at the very end and work backwards - I am world famous in Canberra! http://news.anu.edu.au/?p=598 and http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/
keeping-it-simple-at-the-cutting-edge/1245180.aspx if people have the patience and the will to find out how and why.
For my part I will say this - it was a battle of wits and will and confidence and it was the last bit that got me through (or so the judges said). Am I proud of this achievement - hell yes. Because it is not often that a coloured woman is chosen over Caucasian men and I have been in this field long enough and fought hard enough to know that. There have been frustrating times in similar competitions when that Caucasian boy won and even the judges could not point out why I was second (in one instance!) but it happened. In saying that, the competition was tough but good natured and the four boys were very good (as you can see by reading the articles) and their topics were by far more interesting than mine, I thought.
My mother reminded me of words that my Electronics lecturer had said to me in undergrad, and they rang very true on Thursday last week, he said "you are a brown female who is decent looking and you can talk! and you're studying Physics, you will do well"!
So much ado was made of me last few days and I have been getting tons of good wishes from a lot of people, and I am very very thankful to each and everyone alike. The Family has called and emailed and one message was loud and clear in all the wishes 'we expected nothing less'. Because you see, the Family expects nothing less. If I don't do well it is a cause for concern but when I do well I am just fulfilling my destiny! The bar has been raised generations ago and we can all but keep up.
In other news, the brother-in-law arrived on Thursday and already he has gained the revered spot of my 'lucky charm' what with the award getting few hours after his feet touched Canberra soil and my two year old bike getting sold for $600! He began at the harrowed halls of Canberra hospital today and let us all wish him luck!
So working backwards to the last (first?) event - the Sydney trip to celebrate the birthday of Mr. Universe, vprasad007 better known as Vik.
Words cannot describe the place we stayed at and the only saving grace was that it was bang smack in the heart of the city and less than a stone's throw from all the places that we wanted to go to. A great time was had by all and I think it will suffice to say that Sydney trips are always fun and this one raised the bar just that little bit.
Speaking of bars and raising - here's to the rest of this week, let us raise a glass (of hot beverage, as the mercury dips here in Canberra) to each other and to the fact that even though this year has had massive dips, there are rays of sunshine through the window.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sydney times

Last week was spent in Sydney, officially attending a conference and unofficially catching up with the gang that currently resides there. It is a fantastic feeling telling a friend that you don't want to eat out anymore so they should cook for you and it feels all the better when they do! It also feels good to catch up with married friends and play the Wii over glasses of drink and Thai food!
Books were bought and I have managed thus far to keep my word and only buy second hand books (except for one lapse!) - The English Patient (Sorry Ashanka I have not yet read it but am getting there quick), Satanic Verses and Mila 18 which is borrowed from a friend. There was a lovely little second hand book store right next to the hotel where I put myself up, so needless to say a lot of time on the way to and back from the conference venue was spent happily perusing.
Jaane tu ya Jaane na was also watched last weekend. My reaction is 'meh *shrug*'. I guess the Aamir Khan name (albeit not as director) and the general over-hype surrounding this movie managed to over-sell it to me and it did not live up to expectations.
Of course they were best friends and of course they were not in love and of course they would end up together. Even the 'narration' part is flinched from Chalte Chalte. Originality came only in the form of Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak who were absolutely fantastic and effortlessly carried the humour and wit. Even Paresh Rawal's role did not do justice to an actor of his calibre.
A. R. Rehman's music does grow on one and it did for this movie too. I am undecided about Imran Khan - he has the makings of an Aamir without the playfulness, without the complete charm. Whether or not he has potential as an actor remains to be seen.
A lot of people enjoyed the movie as they could identify with a character in the film. As for me the closest anyone came to my character in the movie was Shaleen (I think her name was). The friend in the background who comes forth to spout some words of wisdom. Who is not overly anything - loud, dressy, emotional. Seems to have her head on her shoulders.
However, in saying all that, I liked Imran Khan's character in the movie and it taught me an important lesson. See, although I am not a romantic by any stretch of the imagination, I always wanted a guy who could beat the heck out of someone for me, who would take arms against the world if anyone else so much as batted an eyelid my way. Yet, after watching this movie, I realised that it takes much more of a man to tactfully side-step a physical fight and wittily save the day, that brain is more important than brawn.
Still, one must be willing and able to throw a mean punch when required, what say?