Sunday, November 08, 2009

Now isn't this Ironic?

So there is this chance this one was inspired from the PhD comics...I've been reading them obsessively,have lost my sense of reality,and have needed reminding recently that they are fictional characters..Gasp!
Dealing with delusion has never been easy now has it....Forgive me this one indulgence!

Now this is Ironic!

A grad student turned ninety eight
Took the walk,got scooped the next day
You're starving,but look how much you weigh
You race to save your gel,but you're too late
Isn't it ironic...don't you think

It's like the roton who won't listen to a word you say
It's a free slice,but it's already stale
It's the paper draft that just didn't take
Who would've needed figures.

Mr.Smarty Pants' head began to sway
Fell asleep at a talk,one he gave meeting day
I screamed"Eureka!I knew I was right"..
Oops I'm looking at it from the wrong side
Well isn't that nice
And isn't it ironic..don't you think

Well your PI has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When your gel didn't run well,and the bands aren't right
Your post doc has a weird sense of humor when
He says you have to play music to his mice
And he isn't joking

It's showing up with a cloning manual on a date
It's talking prion disease while sharing a steak
It's writing a grant proposal to your future wife
It's making her first author
And being set for life

That isn't you think...
Very normal...I do think

Deadlines have a funny way of sneaking up on you
You achieve nothing,yet you pass out
Yet you pass out

I'm toying with the idea of adding a link of me singing this version to music...hmmm. Either because I'm so wonderfully gifted..or the unlikely possibility of not wanting to work on paper that's due...
Maybe I'll conduct a poll instead...let me know what you think..

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


You taught me to walk
Today I lead
Is it still you?

A tuft of hair
One painful wheeze
I ache to protect you
To comfort
To keep you safe
I failed.

Our roles were reversed
So quickly
So dependent
And child-like

I'll do better,please come back.

One fateful day
A haunting hour
You disappeared
Into a void

And I'm still here

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Homo Scientificus ??

As always....most of my blog posts are inspired this way.Makes you wonder what I'm thinking of when I'm chatting with you on the phone , eh? Back to the point of course...I got thinking, are scientists a whole new breed? Are we a species so far removed from the world, that a brief description would read more like a survivors guide?

I continued to ponder earlier mentioned qaundry..hmmmm
Let us christen our universe 'Eppendorfia'....and peer into its mysterious workings...

Romance in our universe

Ahh candy fluff...none that is as saccharine as-
"Your gels are a marvel to behold"
"How steady be thy loading hand"
"How gently you lyse your cells"
"This chromatogram has such clear peaks...almost.." well never mind that one..!!!

Insults On Eppendorfia...

No saccharine without stupidity eh...

"You are as skewed as a nanodrop reading on tiny quantities of DNA"
" I would put your P-value at 0.01"
" You are about as enchanting to listen to as a sonicator"
"For one, even your bugs ( read E.coli) smell better than you"
And the ultimate put-down....Read do not pursue this one..
" I would rather read papers/write my thesis/submit an abstract than go out with you"

Songs that reverberate down in these depths...

Lysing me softly
One last prep
Enter Bossman
Bugs on Parade
Smells like pure spirit

And for the R&B in us
In da lab ( this one is really doing well!)
Broke forever ( Jay-Z nailed it here!)

When it comes to movies, we have the coolest lil theater in town...Inflickogen has been singing profit all month long

The Dark slide
Quantum of Sleep
High School Aerosol ( who doesn't like a good musical?)
What happens in P3..

In addition , there is this video that is really doing the rounds.A fellow 'dorfian you-tubed it for me , it explains wonderfully the process of protein synthesis,for I can't believe that anything should trouble you it here

There....that de-mystifies our race I believe...hah..and you thought we were hard to untangle? ( accompanied by derisive shake of head!hmph!)

PS...for my fellow Eppendorfians , news has it that Harry Potter is back from a conference and ready for a new semester,read all about it in 'Harry Potter and the disorder of the Plasmids'

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The tube stayed open....

So after another long hiatus from this..Im back!!! Only because I love spoofs so much, partly because I'm lazy to actually write my own songs, and of course heavily because I'm going to the CREED concert this weekend...I came up with this...

May I never rest in peace for this...forgive me!

The tube was open

When I just heard the news today
It seems my gel is going to change
I close my eyes ,begin to sway
The tears of rage stream down my face

The tube stayed open
All day,all night
The abstract's a waste
Throw away everything
The tube stayed open
Stayed open....

Well I don't know if I'm ready
To face my boss,the God that be
I'll take a deep breath,Ill slip him some wine
I shake my head,Haven't created mice.

The tube stayed open
Oh that UV light
The abstract's a waste
Throw away everything.
The tube stayed open..
Now my promise has changed
I'll show you life
I'll show you mice reverting
The tube stayed open
The tube stayed open
I'll dream of mice reverting..oh yeah
The tube stayed open...wide open.

If I had just one dream
Only one desire
I hope they have one for me
I hope he works real hard
Then I can rule his life
And this can drive him mad
And he can clone the world
New guy on rotation.

The tube stayed open
All day,all night
Welcome to this place
Now I've seen everything,
The tube stayed open
Now I'm going insane
I'll sing for mice
I'll do anything
The tube stayed open
The tube stayed open
I can do anything..oh yeah
Back to lab at ten.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

All I want for my Bday....

I don't want a lot for my Birthday
There's just one thing I need
I don't care about the gifts
Making their way to me
I want you to laugh with me

More than you could ever know
Give me away,make it true

All I want for my birthday is..


I don't want to party for my B'day
There's just one thing I need
Just another pick-me -up dance
Like when I was three

I don't need a Guru for everyday,
I've got my very own

Only you can make me happy
With a hat on my birthday

I just want you both together
More than you could ever know

Make it whole again

All I want for my birthday is..


I wont ask for much this Birthday
I wont even ask you not to snore
I'm just gonna keep on prayin
Ur back for a 'lil bit more
I just want you here this night
Telling me its all alright

Saying there's nothing I can't do

All I want for my birthday is you

I don't want a lot for my B'day
This is all I'm begging for
I just want to see my daddy
Dancing outside my door.
Oh I just want you to lean on

More than you could ever know
Make my dream come true
All I want for my b'day is


I miss you doesn't feel the same without you.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


I'm such a coward
I couldn't take it anymore.
I'm such a coward,
I couldn't take pain no more.

I tried to kill myself today
I wanted to end it all.

I'm such a coward
I wanted to feel pain for you,
I'm such a coward
I wanted to bleed like you,
I'm such a coward
I wanted to suffer too.

I'm such a coward,
I just couldn't do it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I cry for those-
Who never knew you.
I cry for all that
You never saw.

I cry for myself
Who knew you so well.

I see you now,
As I saw you that day-
Cold,not breathing,unseeing-
And so Loved.

So loved, So missed
So dear.
A snowflake,
On the hottest day.

I see you now-
Raising a toast in heaven.

Forever ?

On each day
I miss you more
On a hot day
Your broad smile
On a rainy one-
An infectious laugh
A cold day brought
A grouchy grin.

With each passing hour,
I miss you more
I'm trying to stay still daddy
But the world I'm in,
It keeps taking me further away

I thought we were fighting together
Why did you let go Daddy?
Was it too painful to hold on?
I wish I had known..

I might have let you go too-
But now; I can't.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fading away...

A voice breaks my reverie;
One that I've heard before,
Not startled,
They grow louder , more calming.

I flip a page,
Back to years ago-
To a haunting memory, a smiling face,
Etched forever in time.

I am so alone
My thoughts echo unbearably
In my loneliness I allow-
An indulgent hallucination.

I dream I was there
Part of forbidden conversation,
Now I am in so deep -
I can't get back.

Comfort so ethereal,
Surrounded by ghosts of the past,
An outstretched hand-
All but tendrils of smoke.

A distinct memory;
Begins to evanesce,
My darkest desire,
Hovers; just out reach.

An eyelid flutters
A gaze cast out the window,
A wisp of white
Dazzles by....

The ghosts come a - haunting
I know you will let them stay.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The day time stood stil.....

It's the 19th of June....

20th of June last year , daddy was diagnosed with cancer..

This year..he has been gone two months.

Maybe if I could have stopped time , held the day forever..I would never have lost him..

Never have had to know life without him..

Does it matter now....

All that remains....Ash, cold ash...and to earth returned.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jungle Law..

A long muddy trail
Leaves painted with dust
Scorched earth; and today -
Blessed with rain.

One prowling eye,
A starving cub,
One leaping Impala-
A bloodied carcass ,a feast.

Mist shrouds the night
The sun bakes the day
Nothing here is constant
Nothing but change.

A lone pugmark marks the soil,
A single Leopard crouches low,
One lone pachyderm arrives,
Leaves, nothing for miles.

A fish eagle soars the sky,
One beady eye fixed on food.
A piercing wail-
A bird calls from a ghost tree.

A skull decorates the grass.
A crocodile aches for body warmth.

All who walk here,
Walk alone.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Unanswered Questions..

So many people tell me that daddy hasn't really gone anywhere..he is with me.. and will be always.If you're here daddy, here are some things I have been wondering....

Where are you now daddy?

Why did you leave me without saying Good Bye ?

Is there any pain now daddy?

I can't believe he is gone..I can't believe that my life with him is over..I can't believe I am no one's 'princess' no one to call me ' noisy girl'....I miss you daddy.....

Do you think I should really get my PhD daddy?

Is there 'special dahi sev puri' where you are? Have you told them you like it 'theekha' ...?

Who do you walk with now daddy?

So many unfinished many dreams...shattered...the pieces surround me

Your spectacles are still here...can you see clearly daddy?

Do you get su-doku puzzles where you are?

Do you still snore at night daddy ?

So many unfinished many 'I love yous' left many minutes more I wish we had...

How do I go on from here daddy ?

Do you still remember me ?

Is it ok to continue living without you ?

Can I come join you daddy ?


Today I started to clear daddy's closet...

Each shirt with its whimsical splash of color takes me back in time.To a different place.
The white shirt he wore to my high school play..Sunshine checks for a summery morning...Grey t-shirt for a trip to Yoga class.

A well worn night mismatched button.A purple shirt from this time last see the man I meant to marry...A regal kurta from the evening of my engagement..

Where did those days go Daddy?

Today..they are just colored pieces of yarn...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Daddy passed away ....20th of April...

I am his mirror.....I was his reflection....

Today, I am all alone.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


When did it get like this ? Why is it so hard to see black from white today? Everything seems misted with a powdery grey mist.Tears stream down my face as I sit to write this..knowing that the subject of this post,like others before,will be daddy.So far from me...not a second removed from me though.....

What do I want for him?

Years ago....perhaps even this time last year the answer was so easy...For daddy to have a long life,be healthy,be with me through everything,see me through everything....Share my life with me! I took it for granted..Sure he would be around when I turned 30...40.He would be the one I called when I was given the green light to graduate,"Daddy,( I'd say..all bossy!) book tickets..your princess is graduating"

When I felt pain,I'd look to see if it mirrored in his eyes...and it would.Each time..When I laughed...Only he laughed louder...when I raged,only him to match me!When I said 'sorry', a shrug and a hug to follow....I knew things were so easy then.'Sorry' fixed most things,'I love you' fixed the rest!

I wanted for him to lead a peaceful life....retire..enjoy his 60's.Immerse himself in gardening,learning to the piano ( remember pinao daddy?) He insists, even today, on immitating all my mis-pronunciations.I replied to his admonition of 'bad girl Shilpa' with my very own, " Bad girl daddy!"...I wish I was back there today.Life was not so was not so layered..

I wanted years and years of life with him....More memories..more time.

What do I want today?

I don't know..I want him to enjoy some not feel pain,to not be weak..or ill.I want him to be home for weeks at a stretch..never see a hospital bed again.I want his fragile arms to never feel the poke of a needle again...never need a pint of someone's blood.I don't want him to shed one more tear...never need one more test.I don't ever want him to suffer....

Does that mean..that I have to be prepared to say goodbye?

I don't want to...I want to hold on ...forever.Tighter and tighter...and never let anything come between us....

It seemed so easy know what I want for him....

Now I'm torn.....

Friday, April 03, 2009

Karma Confusion....

So..well of course sentimental babbling is so not me! It's just the whole similie of life as a bungee jump hit me while I was researching ( read Facebooking!) ...

This is another thought process that I kickstarted on my recent trip India..My dad spent a lot of time in the hospital.Most of my three weeks was spent sitting by his bedside,wishing we were all somewhere else.Someone else..a different start!..Many many hours I watched, the hypnotic drip of his IV line,the steady breath of someone in a drug-induced slumber,the clockwork check by a nurse on call many activities..and still I felt like I was frozen in time.So helpless , too powerless to change anything....

India has this gets me thinking each time.( Scarier still since I am on the course to a phd , and hence earth-shaking thought process should be an everyday activity! bah humbug!) This time around..I landed on a question of Karma.So each time prior to this one,I'd question my dad's illness.Each session begun with a mournful "Why me ?"...ending on a statement of similar sentiment.I envied friend's parents being able to visit them in a new home, I wished mine could stay away from hospital for a month.I was jealous when my friends could have conversation with their parents that didn't center around Chemotherapy or pain or appetite loss.Was this Karma ? Was I being leveled for feeling pangs of jealousy?

I have not been a saint.There are people I have hurt.I know I have.If you're reading this, you know who you are,I am sorry.I wish there was a way to go back...change all that.Is that Karma? A lesson for all the stuff I've done? Harsh words,exacting expectations and immature exchanges..ahh for the things I could take back.

Is it true that it catches up with you? Is that Karma ? Am I to expect payback for every thing I've done? Is there a way to offset this crazy cycle? What exactly are the terms of this leveling mechanism?

If I could...I'd do anything to change what my family is going through now.People write to me..tell me they admire how we are dealing with it all.They help us keep going.Because the Lord knows it..We haven't a clue.I don't know the best way to react just yet.Or how sad I am allowed to be.Or how its ok to live my life from time to time.

Perhaps its also alright for me to wish that I had a normal 20's.With parents visiting me,and where going home didn't mean days at the hospital.No jealousy....just wishes...

But this past few months I have spent more time with my dad , than I ever have growing up.Why do we wait till we have bad news to huddle together? I have supported him more this last few months than I ever have before.I have held him more...wiped away more tears.I have let myself go..and lived for the present than ever before.I have delighted in little things,him being able to walk by himself, I have been more his daughter this past year than the last 24.

I know him better now.I have been there to comfort him, to translate ' medical jargon' for allay his fears.To love him...for now..for every day we have together.To have him tell me how much I mean to him..

Is this Karma too...I guess I'll take it!

A leap of faith!

So I just re-visited pictures from a trip to Livingstone...Of my Bungee jumping adventure and the rush of freedom that I felt with it..It kicked up a thought process...that translated into this..

A chance meeting,
A sudden decision,
One thin bridge -
Forged over rumbling waters.

A brief training,
One single instructor
5 terrifying moments-
One deep breath.

A question of faith,
A tremble of future,
One binding rope,
One lifeline!

A walk to the edge,
A glance down the gorge,
A robust countdown-
A leap of faith.

One weightless moment,
A downward hurtle,
An anxious prayer,
And the cord jerks!

Hanging by my feet,
The world is upside down,
A new beauty-
A breath of life!

I'd do this again....I did...This is how I met you Mosi!


Monday, February 23, 2009

My Questions over time...

I was spurred to write this after reading a prompt here ....I've never sat down to write inspired by another's thought...this is a first!

So this is a topic I have consciously avoided the past few months...that of Longevity.My dad was diagnosed with cancer the week before my wedding (about 7 months ago) and it took me many months to accept that he was sick.Only recently,I cried the whole night,body-wracking sobs and wailing that forced me to accept it...and to question it...

The first of many questions..Why my dad? Why my 'daddy'?

I have been a daddy's girl most of my life.(Except when it was convenient to switch because Dad was being strict for some unfathomable reason..I mean come on,staying out past 4 am and walking home alone is so mundane!) To think that he was ill...with a disease that we could never really win a battle against made me angry.I felt like being in the field was a cruel joke I would not survive.

Once a tentative acceptance had been question melted into Will he get better?

Doctors confirmed with official shakes of the head that he would indeed be fine..soon.I entertained visions of him visiting me in Lusaka,staying in my( first ever married girls) house,watching with swollen chest my PhD graduation as tears streamed down his stubbled face.I am not sure anymore...I want to hope but am scared.

Watching him these past few months in the hospital..dwarfed by the bed and attached to an eyes well up each time I enter his room, and each time I leave.I see his eyes search for a sign that he is free to join me journey home.I remember the time ,as a 5 year old I came down with a bout of pneumonia.He couldn't stand the sight of my arm being pierced in search of a vein..and was asked to leave the room,tears streaming down his face.Daddy...why are you leaving me?, I shrieked.Always I asked him questions...only the words changing with time.

He knew the answers....he knows them all....

I was a week to go till the wedding and no smiles in place.My daddy gave me that strength.He wore his biggest smile...he shrugged on his strongest self...and gave me a wedding,memories and a life that dreams are made of.All of daddy did for me.
All through the wedding....I took my dad aside...How are you feeling dad?

He smiled for the camera..he smiled for me...

My brother got married the month after me.The year that was to be the highlight in Iyer history..was quickly turning into a dramatic nightmare.Dad was 2 sessions of chemotherapy down..and showing the effect.Tired, sad and angry....he struggled to be a dashing Father of the Groom...From the strongest man I have ever known to a dependent patient he made a that broke me to watch.

What can I get you daddy?

With time....the words morphed into newer questions.They say time changes brings acceptance...and peace.For me, time brought newer challenges...newer questions..

Can I deal with this? Can I grow up quick enough?

I was daddy's princess...I still am! We are cut of the same bolt,he and I.We shared a passion...for fun,laughter and gardening.Sunday mornings were often spent pottering around outside with a frisky mutt for company.Daddy is my hero.He understood my need to 'be myself'.To spread my fly.He said he understood if I never found someone I wanted to marry....
He understood when I did, he hugs Mosi like a son...although he never accepts how emotional that day was for him....

Did I hurt you daddy?

A few days ago...Dad suffered an electrolyte imbalance.His immunity is shot from the chemo..and the drugs are fogging his mind.He isn't coherent today...doesn't remember things clearly...

Do you remember me Daddy?

I get on a plane to go home tomorrow.....a question that I had hoped would not cross my mind..atleast not this soon passes foreboding...

How much time do we have Daddy?

Tears roll down my face....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Everything I do...

This is getting to be quite the addiction.Every morning...with the reassuring hum of a million machines behind me,I can barely wait to dump my newest concoction into xyz instrument,shut it lovingly...offer a few minutes in prayer that Zesco ( Local power suppliers) will be kind, that the machine will not be moved to a new home mid-experiment,that the rats continue to think its Sunday...and that it doesn't rain...( well I just don't like the rain..!)..Once done..blogspot beckons ..and here I am..again!

So I'm continuing..a tirade I launched here with a new spoof.This one is (sniff) a song by Bryan Adams ( gasp! dare I !!!)...This is just my lonely rebellion..against all things pink,decorated with hearts and requiring a dedicated 24 hours so one can drown in their diabetic slush...Not that anything will change...only perhaps with every passing year,I may seem more and more like a bitter old lady with no one to love her ..raving and ranting at all those lucky (?) girls with dramtically gushing and effusively coiffed partners..Perhaps I should get a snake...that would complete my look...While I set off in search of a slithering is my offering ..

Everything hour I spend .....

Look into my lens-you will see
How well you grow on LB
Search your plate- search for growth
And if I find you there, I'll search no more.

Don't tell me it's not worth cloning for
You can't tell me it's not worth hoping for,
You know its true
Everyday I spend,I spend it with you.

( Sung to the contamination)

Look into my eyes-you will find ,
Theres nowhere left to hide
I'll take you to de-contam,Take your life,
Its all for science,worth the sacrifice.

( Back to my valentine!)

Don't tell me it's not worth growing for,
I can't help it,there's no colony I want more
You know its true
Every curse from me,Its all coz of you.

Theres no sight,Like blue and white
And no other love -like GFP's light
Theres no first author,unless you're there
I'll grow you up..all the way

Oh -you can't tell me its not worth starving for
I can't help it,I'm hungry no more
I would sing to you, buy a new loop for you,
Buy a new flask for you - ya I'd move in with you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Harry Potter and the Beaker of Fire.

Harry opened his eyes and yawned...."Wow is it 5 already!"...he rolled over and went back to sleep...Fours hours later,his cellphone beeped, Ron had sent him a text,'Where are you? We're at the Column..see you soon!'..Falling out of bed Harry raced to his closet ,threw some clothes on and tore down the road to the Leaky Column.

A bunch of his friends were already there that night.Loud music and obnoxious t-shirts greeted him too!The hole virology group was having a bar crawl that night.A few hours later..and many,many drinks down,the structure bunch got a little out of hand.They began to bully the new molecular biologists.They made them dance on the tables...turn was an awful sight.Harry,Ron and Hermione hid behind the bar....while the drunken bullies let off steam.Eventually , Hermione peered around the bar,"This is ridiculous.I have a growth curve to do..I need to get going" she stormed.

Back at school...everything seemed normal..or as normal as Grad School can be!They quickly settled back into a gel melted into another as the days passed on.They had a new Defense against the Dark Bugs teacher,Hep E Moody.During their very first class,he said in a gravelly tone,"Put away your books...there ain't nothing in there that can help you here.Can anyone name the three Uncurable bugs?"..."Please sir ", began Hermione,"It wasn't on the reading for this week".Ron however raised his hand uncertainly..."My dad mentioned someone he knew who had one...uhh.. HPV?..""Correct Weasley..thats a nasty one", so saying he showed them an electron micrograph of it.Every so often Moody,would duck behind his deck to take a large bite of something..this shocked everyone..though no one dared mention it.To everyone's surprise,and his own,Neville raised his hand"Hmmm Professor, Hepatitis B ?".."Correct Longbottom!"He clicked on his new Macbook,and the screen lit up with its life cycle."And the last one..can anyone name this deadly killer? No one...why HIV of course!",his eyes gleaming like a mad-man,Moody zoomed in on a picture of gp120.The bell rang..and the students peeled themselves from their the halls as they walked to their next class they nodded to each other"He knows...he really knows!".

One morning , Albus Dumbledore,the Head of Departmen,t announced that Hogwarts was soon to be home to two other schools of Virology .The Magical Virology Conference was to be held at Hogwarts this year.and everyone was rather excited.Germstrang,a Russian school of Virology was to arrive first, followed shortly by Bornabatons Academy of Microbiology .All the Hogwart-ians whispered excitedly amongst themselves waiting for their guests.Germstrang arrived amid much drumming and clapping.The Head,Ebor Karkaroff was a famous Russian scientest.Off late though he was more often in the news for his lapses of delusion.He had worked with Voldemort,the retrovirus and had once been one of the brightest Retroviral minds.Somewhere along the way however,his mind unhinged...Today, he could be heard telling anyone who would care to listen that he was responsible for the discovery of Voldemort...that his Nobel was snatched from him!

Bornabatons Academy was headed by Madame Marburg.She was publishing Giant, well known for her work on large genomed viruses.She expected a great deal of hard work from her students..and her lab was famous as one where first years often slept at their bench.

Participants for the Conference were to be decided by the Beaker of Fire.Dumbledore announced the rules one morning,"Only students who have one first author paper can apply.A student who wishes to participate must submit his/her name on a piece of litmus paper into a beaker on a burner.We call this the 'litmus test'.However I must warn you, if you do not meet the condition , the consequences will be severe...."A loud uproar broke out in the hall,"That's not fair! The editors don't like us.Its not our fault! I am working on a resubmission!Someone scooped me!"..and on it went.

Fred and George,riding a wave of fresh disappointment,their last commitee meeting having crucified them,decided rashly to enter.They added their names to the beaker, and walked away!..The effect was immediate.The slip with their names burst into flames and turned into a Howler.It raced off to their Major Professor to say that the student had ' data' they wanted to discuss with them.Oh no!!

The following day,Dumbledore took the beaker off the burner and gingerly read the names that the beaker had selected.Fibro Delacoux,Corona Krum ,Chlamydic Diggory...and Harry Potter!!!!! "Harry, how did you enter your name into the beaker? Do you know what this means? You must now present at the Conference!..This is binding!".Harry stumbled forward in a daze,"But but sir..I don't know how my name got in.I didn't enter..I don't have enough data to present!".The other teachers gathered around bewildered...all agreed however, that Harry would have to participate.

"This is so unfair..I don't know enough ", said Harry..desperately trying to finish his poster."Pictio"he howled,summoning the suitable gel pictures to complete the poster.The Conference had three arms - A poster presentation,An abstract presentation and a quiz.It started off badly for Harry, for during the poster presentation while trying to put up his,managed to knock someone elses off.Grumbling he bent over to pick it up, when a girl hissed at him,"Take your own only,leave the other one!"...What ever happened to being helpful! The quiz went off without a hitch...the abstract however was another story.Every person in the crowd,Moody included ,went straight for the jugular.Fending off their questions the best he could,Harry hoped that he could disappear..."Why did you use that enzyme?Why didn't use use a nested PCR? What temperatures were these done at?"..and on it went.At the end of it..everyone agreed that Harry had managed credibly..and that his research had direction! He was even awarded 'Most promising research 09'.."Yipee...guaranteed funding! No more TA-ing!"...celebrated Harry!! Harry's competitor Chlamydic Diggory,disillusioned by the comments he got and the holes in his theory ,however,quit grad school.( Note from the author: Diggory is doing well.He found employment in a Software firm,just bought his third Lexus and was most recently spotted holidaying on the Galapagos Islands)

Harry meandered over to a quiet section of the hall.Moody,looking rather grim ,cornered him.He began,"Well congratulations Harry! Well done...But let me be honest with you.No point shielding you eh? Hmm..I don't this project will go much further.You've done well...but the parameters just don't add show me your future plans.Lets sit there shall we?" saying he led him into the deserted library.Dumbledore,watching the whole thing out of the corner of his eye raced over to them.Snatched up Harry's book, and grabbed Moody.

"Who are you ?The real Moody wouldn't discourage a 4th year!", so saying he waved his wand and forced Moody to respond.In front of their eyes..Moody turned into someone else..shorter,thinner and with a crooked nose."Bacterial Crouch! How is this possible ?",so saying Dumbledore tipped a few drops of Veritas Complete Serum into his mouth." Well...years ago",began Crouch,"I discovered Prions.I found a way to make a prion potion that could change me into someone else as long as I kept eating rare cooked burgers every hour.I enetered Harry's name into the Beaker of Fire , I wanted to discourage Harry from this project , and then steal his data and publish it!"......Dumbledore raged silently..with a reassuring pat on Harry's back he led the fake Moody away.

A week passed.The real Moody was back,coughing wildly, from a forced imprisonment in Crouch's cold room.Harry,Hermione and Ron huddled around the lab computer,putting their mental faculties together for a game of TextTwist.Harry looked around the lab...he felt at home!

Saccharine side stepping!

Whew..I survived another one!...Valentine's day came and went without a peep...Being rather newly wed did nothing to upset my plans..or the lack thereof!

Valentine's eve saw me and Mosi standing in a line at a local gift store.A riot of explosion greeted my tired eyes.( Important to note at this point might be that the oh-so-pleasant flu had come to visit that weekend.And I was at my best...sniffling,coughing and bleary eyed..ah romance!)I picked up an innocuous looking stuffed Husky dog, 'This doesn't look to revoltin--..."..The word caught in my itching throat,Gasp! A heart was attached to its white furry mouth.In no mood to appreciate a heart-wrenching ( literally) beast, we moved on!I fought through an amor'-inspired gaggle of girls..all excited,all gushing,all surreptiously grabbing the closest furry,red,heart-shaped thingamajig! No bother that a) it was three times the price b) it was useless c) it was red..and oh did I mention useless? I mean how many furry hearts can hang from a sane person's ceiling?Anyway beating through this crowd, I made it to the card section...Seriously're going to buy a diabetic card for the husband? With his money? such thought should cross you mind,We of social networks,had a birthday party to go to.I picked the dryest,blandest card yellow and blue ( Aha! My revolution against white and red!) .all it proclaimed was Happy Birthday...and thats it!Perfect, I proceeded to the check -out.Stood myself at the tail of a line from here to Timbuktu, Mosi in tow.As we crawled upto the cash register..our (my bleary) and Mosi's well trained eye fell on a tin that screamed- Valentine's Kamasutra gift S&M....hmm ! It was black and had required picture of Dominatrix looking woman in black! My helpful hubby offered..'The tin looks too small for a whip!...handcuffs perhap?'..Since the shop hadn't noticed us enough for the lack of Love-day cheer...this sure got their attention!

One battle down! We mowed our way through Friday evening traffic to get to the Birthday do!! We were met with large smiles,alcohol and cake...ahhh I can celebrate this! Too good to be true..'So what are you newly weds doing for Valentines ? '..a smile, an embarressed downward glance..."Oops meant to switch shoes!'Luckily my throat chose that moment to errupt in a fitful cough.Alarmed, our host smiled and waved to an imaginary guest....We extricated oursleves from that one..only barely!

The day dawned...rainy,gloomy and dark!We woke rather early...I was a mess.Sneezing continuously,coughing like the life was leaving me,eyes watering,nose dripping..I was a vision of romantic allure.No wonder that Mosi stood back..and gingerly helped me out of bed! I padded down the hall to the kitchen, popped my customary cough drop,and proceded to whip up a that the mushy side we are about to expose? Fat chance, I was signed up to bake a cake for a get-together that night.A group of people here ,had organised Talent Night on Valentines.Perhaps to keep an eye on us ..the Mushy Mosis..Cake done,oven switched off and I sunk back into a codiene inspired slumber....mouth open...wheezing slightly..And that didn't encourage Valentines day plans?? Shocker that!

Later that evening, we hopped into our favourite grocery store.I bought 4 bars of chocolate...thats all.The girl behind the counter gave me a knowing smile,"Chocolate for Valentines day......!!! "...I put an end to trauma inducing images of me lolling in melted chocolate saying,"This is for a cake...for my girls night..!"....Tcchh..she looked at me appalled..
Then sashaying out the door..we ran into a good friend.He and some friends had some paintings up , all different visualisations of HIV-a world problem...So we spent the next half hour in a world of disease,sexual practices and death.All very romance inspiring for sure!

At a traffic signal on our way to Talent Night,I poked my head out the window at a guy selling roses on the road.What a day...wilting red roses cost three times the price , and they come wrapped in ghastly paper driping with hearts! Ahhh my blood sugar! Ill take a bunch..I muttered softly,lest anyone heard.Sinking lower in my seat, I ripped all the petals out into a bag right in front of his horrified eyes.He handed me my 1000 Kwacha note..and ran for his life.Once at the venue...I dumped the petals into a bowl..added a candle or two...Voila..Atmosphere!

The last of my rebellion came next."Why are you not wearing Red and White?"...piped up a friendly voice...I glanced down at my Khaki-green shirt...Hmm Jungle seduction perhaps?
Talent Night saw me take part in a dance too.A hip swinging,alluring Hawaiin dance , you ask hopefully ?..Little luck there..this was a folk tune..made only more entertaining by my valiant efforts to not sneeze on stage!

So now as I look back..I walked into nearly evert landmine Valentines day is known to bring...Chocolate,cake,
Did I succumb?? No way!!!

This troop is still fighting.....and going strong!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Harry Potter and the Plagarizer of Azkaban

"Where is that dratted boy? Each time the laundry is done...Poof he vanishes!", muttered Aunt Petunia viciously."Harryyyyy" , she cried...glaring out of the window.."Oh wait, they bought a new car?"...Hmm.and Harry was soon were the freshly washed clothes.

Harry,our favourite wizard kid was safely ensconced in the basement.He had had a close shave on his prelims and was desperately trying to work on some data to present at Lab meeting."Ahhh colonies", he remarked rather pleased,"Now if only the digests work too...""Harrryyyyyy", a second shout broke his gleeful spell.Flustered , he snapped off his small sized gloves and raced into the kitchen.Oops double gloves!! Peeling back the second layer he presented himself to his angry aunt..Dudley , in the meanwhile had discovered the 'secret ' Virology lab in the basement.Aha..he thought..he is going to be in duck soup!! "Mom....dadddd"....... Soon..muttering under his breath, desperately forcing his pipettes into a trunk and his glove box, Harry burst from the house.Under the street lamp he stood,adjusting his micropipette."Bang!"..a loud noise made his drop the pipette..Oh No!..Salmonella Shunpike peered out of a big purple bus, "Did you call for the bus?', he asked Harry.."Bus..??" asked Harry rather unsure.."Yes the Norwalk bus..for those who don't want to walk!"..and Harry was off.....

He got off on slightly shaky legs..Looking up he smiled..The Leaky Column...! He would be safe here for a little while.He was shown to a room,soon after all comfy on the bed he lazily flipped through the newest edition of Science."Harryy.." a scream startled him" Aunt Petunia? here?...Wait she sounds younger..".. Hermione flung herself on Harry, closely followed by Ron.."Heyyy you're here", Harry beamed at them...the rest of the summer was going to be perfect.

The two weeks sped by and soon it was time to leave for School.Mr.Weasley pulled Harry aside, "Harry despite what you hear don't go looking for Filius Black".Black was a prisoner at the Wizard prison Azkaban."Why would I go looking for a criminal Sir?" offered Harry hesitantly....."Do you know why he was in prison lad?Black was jailed bacause he was guilty of plagarizing your parents' papers and when he was done with them , he infected them with Voldemort.Now the rumours have it that Lily and James left their last , unpublished manuscript with you .Thats what he's after!..That and any data you may have..Have you even begun working yet?".....Mind caught up in knots ,Harry stepped onto the train...and soon left the station and Mr.Weasley behind.....

Harry,Hermione and Ron squeezed into an empty compartment.Harry ,couldn't take it any more..he burst out ,telling them the story.Suddenly , a noise stopped him mid sentence..What is that? Who is that? There was a man, wrapped tightly in his cloak,fast asleep,his trunk at his feet."Well thats Rhino Lupin , of course", said Hermione,indicating the protocol book sticking out of his trunk..The journey continued..and Harry and Ron were arguing ..Wii vs Xbox..while Hermione indulged in'light'reading...Suddenly, the compartment went dark..the air went damp and smelt foul...Lupin was up in a flash...Looking around the compartment wildly he said." kids stay down!"Lupin cautiously slid the door open and waving his wand at the dark shape shouted,"Performo Decontamum!"....Slowly the compartment returned to normal...All except Harry, who had passed out.He had an extremely strong sense of smell....

Once back at school..the trio were too busy to think! Classes ..tests....homework..and a new addition this year.Lab rotations !! The third years raced around talking to their seniors..gleaning any information they could."He lets his students graduate in 5 years..with papers!...This one is a terror.He expects you to work weekends and on the 29th of Feb too...But this one supports the Chudley Cannons...and on it went..

A new class they were all taking this year was - Public health and Intervention taught by Variable Trelawney."Argh this is awful..all we do is observe something and then describe experimentation..nothing"said Harry, shaking his head angrily." we have all this terri ble regression models..and predictions..god!"...Ron piped in..Hermione turned to Variable ,"Professor, how are we to learn anything , if all we do is predict and observe and describe?"..."Ahh dear...I'm not sure if you have the gift ( or patience)...This is wondeful science!".."Science..???" shrieked Hermione,"This is less scientific than a crystal ball.." And off she stormed..

On the contrary they thoroughly enjoyed their classes with Lupin.He was doing Boggarts with them this week.These shape shifters went through multiple stages before a spell would finally finish them off...Much like a retrovirus..The worst thing about the Boggart though, was its ability to sense a person's fear .During exams ,therefore, Boggarts were a favourite of all teachers..telling them exactly what to trouble their pupil with.. Lupn enjoyed immense favour as a teacher...however Snape put an end to his popularity..he let slip ( oh-so-accidently) that Lupin had been infected with the Wizovirus, one that infects a wizard , rendering him unwell at the time of Lab meetings.The only cure was a tall glass of Tequila and to retire for the day.( Naturally this made Lupin even more popular with his Grad students..but thats another story! )

After a bout of sickness...Lupin was hungry to start work again.Needing ,new literature he set off to PubMed, the treasury of all things scientific.He stared intently at the shelf...trying to find what he wanted...Suddenly his eye caught on a paper,..Second author,Peter Pettigrew..But that's impossible..Didn't Black kill him? ..hmm but PubMed never lies...

He hurried back to Hogwarts find Black sitting (oh-so-calmy) on his couch."Filius...what are you doing here?..." "Oh come don't believe that I stole their work do you? It was Peter..surely you know that!,.replied Black;.fixing him with an unblinking stare...Before he could say anything else,Harry burst into Lupin's office.."Professor ", he began,"I wanted to talk to you about doing a Lab rotation with that Filius Black..?"..."Now Harry, it's not like you think...I thought too, till very recently that Black here had stolen your parents work and then killed them when he got what he wanted.But then, I happened to see a new paper in JBC by Peter Pettigrew..then it all made sense to me.Peter was not dead..he was alive and still publishing!It was Peter who stole your parents work Harry, it was he who had them killed too.All this while he has been playing host to Voldemort.Voldemort was his secret keeper..and hence no one knows that he has been staying at PubMed all this time...!"....

Harry looked over at Black..still a little disbelieving.Lupin raced out of the door to try and capture Pettigrew..."Hmm...Harry before Lily and James died, they asked me to be your I understand if under the circumstances...",he trailed off a uncertainly." Yes...of course, I'd love to have you guide me!" ,so saying Harry jumped up and hugged Black.

Dampening this happy scence however, Lupin returned to report that Pettigrew had managed to escape."We'll find him"..said Harry determinedly...Hermione and Ron,having arrived a few minutes earlier shook their heads in agreement.They looked around the room contentedly..smiling at each other.The reverie was broken.."Oh no! I have lab meeting!"...and Hermione was off in a flash....

Hmmm so we are getting to halfway through Grad School here...Hopefully!

Eyes tuned for more...

PS...acknowledgements at this point include patient Mosi who serves as an excellent bouncing board for my ideas!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Don't Cry

Oops I did it again!!!!......Sitting gloomy day ( Hmmm whoever thought that Africa was come they don't show you this on NatGeo!! Hmph!) ..Here I was all prepared...body groaning under the weight of millions of lil sunscreen bottles...when ....ta-da the sun disappears.

So all bored..and gloomy too..Here's what my twisted mind came up with.....from deep within its recess...

Don't Cry .......

Talk to me softly..
Else you'll wake up the mice
Hope there's power tomorrow,
And please don't cry
I know how your freezer's fried
I've been there before
Somethin is growing inside too
And you just dont know..

Don't you cry tonight
The Shaker's still working baby
Don't you cry tonight
Don't you cry tonight
There's still a roof above you baby
And don't you cry tonight

Four times through the filter
And the water is fine
Run me an ELISA before you
Tell me goodbye
The water is still so hard now
But its only Calcium and sand
The reader's on the blink too
Oh the times it

And Don't you cry tonight
Don't you cry tonight
Don't you cry tonight
There's still a roof above you baby
And don't you cry tonight

And please remember that my hands are tied
And please remember
The vial's empty inside now honey
You can make the enzyme your own way
Bet you wished your salary was larger
You'll feel better tomorrow
No flood in sight now baby

And don't you cry tonight
And don't you cry tonight
And don't you cry tonight
There's still a roof above you baby
And don't you cry
Don't you ever cry
Don't you cry tonight
Results maybe someday
Don't you cry
Don't you ever cry
Don't you cry

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Warriers' African Abode....

I'm back...after a hiatus...Thought I'd kick start this year with a literary masterpiece....I did..( I'm still reading it...!) Anyway after shaking off spying Mosi...I'm clicking away in peace!!! it has been an eventful week so far...We finally found a house.Of course , like everything else in good old Lusaka , seemingly routine things take an appallingly long time.The said beautiful...with shiny black floor shiny I can see my face in it...Good thing...?
So the story leading up to this house is certainly as entertaining as since the Warriers took up residence...

The earlier tenant..a bossy lady, was to move out of this house and we ( happy as a pie ) were to move in in November last year.What do you know..but bossy lady decides she doesn't want to go! She gets an injuntion saying she doesn't have to leave till December..What I wailed..I need a house pronto lady!Anyway...once the hammer sounded...heralding in a leaving date...there was a definite spring to my step..Me and Mosi stopped by the house for a viewing..and walk through.Bossy lady gave us two minutes flat.She kept up a mournful spiel .."this is the kitchen ( duh...there's a cooker and refrigerator lady!! ) ..This is the study..this is the bath..( duh ??) and thats the front door.The only change of expression she allowed herself was when she remarked maliciously ,"oh yes..try asking the landlord...He never gets things done!"..Well did I mention that the lady hadn't paid rent in 6 months....Hmm and the landlord isn't helpful...gasp!!!
Ah naivete was at its best that day...I looked at her garden and smiled at her adding,"You have a beautiful garden, such pretty flowers..." , she ( of Best hostess award fame ) spitefully shot back,"They're all mine, I'm taking them with me...don't think I'm leaving them behind"..So does that mean we aren't on the new year party invite list?? after this drama blew itself out..and carried bossy lady over the threshold with it..We moved'd think that was the end of the drama, fat chance with me around!

Moving day dawned bright and clear...I was positively gushing about the space my new kitchen proffers...A step of salsa here...a swish of rhumba..and a delicate waltz there...Thus dancing around , I approached Mr Dishwasher Warrier and remarked all sunny, " So nice to have all this light shining great to see the greeeee...."Of course that's an odd word...One of the kitchen cabinets had chosen that moment during my sunny speech to hurtle itself off its hinges and fling itself edge first on my toe..Arghh...I hopped around the kitchen trying to ease the pain....New dance move anyone?

So our first night in the new house....Mosi surprised me with a bottle of great wine...and two long stemmed wine glasses to go with.There we sat..all posh sipping on our Shiraz ( a great bottle Mosi!).The conversation got more passionate as the wine level dipped., when suddenly Crash!, our kitchen door slammed shut.As we bolted up from the chairs we were so lazily draped on, the house was plunged into sudden darkness...power out! We raced into the black kitchen,only to see the door partially open , and torrents of rain gushing into my spotless as a baby's butt kitchen...It was horrific..the water snaked through the kitchen into my hall...and settled into satisfied pools in the hall...growing fatter with every new gust of wind! Wailing in despair, only to be drowned out by the howling storm, I sank to my knees ( in prayer?..not!) mopping and wringing in quick, mechanical succession!..My thriftiness was out on full display...Not wanting to get all the wiping cloths dirty , I was frantically wiping and wringing the same little red cloth.Watching my arms moving at breakneck speed and only partially controlled by still fuming brain, my husband gently suggested I add another cloth to my artillery!

And the final straw ? ...well, this morning I was hanging up the curtains...Each window..I put up the solid curtains...then the sheers..and then stepped back to sigh..My number obsessed husband ,who only last night was adroitly balancing dinner in one hand while using the other to research DVD region unlocking codes, walked in.Immersed in a manual on camera lenses ( that shoot scary numbers like 2.5x,18-55 crvfx at you when you least expect them), looked up casually and said, "Mrs...They gypped you at the curtain place...those ones arent very good.They're letting light in..why are they so thin?", following that with a more urgent,Wait! Why are you banging your head on the wall?"......

The Warriers have arrived at Crossroads!