Saturday, September 17, 2016

River trail

It has been slightly more than a week since I here at West Lafayette. I am struggling to adjust to the new lifestyle; water-less toilets specially. Its difficult to smile at a passerby who waves with an eye contact and the lab-mates who cut short the conversations when they remember something in between. It's hard to maintain a ultra clean kitchen and be inside a room with the windows covered with finest mesh possible to keep the life outside.

It's cozy in the bed though, and the sidewalks are a treat to walk on with the air apparently cleaner than in Delhi. I would have loved to have some hills nearby but there is a river trail at a walking distance. One can seldom find people walking it, just some occasional runner buddies. Strangely besides a river, there is no chirping of birds, it feels so lonely by the quiet river.

Food is good. Restrictions at home do not apply here. I specially liked the dried cranberries. There is abundance of everything here it seems, except for some love from family.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Kindness at the tea stall.

I sometimes have my breakfast at the small "tapri" alongside the road. One day while I was eating my bread-omlette a woman in worn out saree came there with  holding a small girl. She asked for a cup of tea. The owner uncle was hesitant. He thought that she was asking for free tea.
"Paisaa kaun dega?" (Who will give the money?), he exclaimed. The woman seemed to be used to this kind of reaction from people and defiantly told that she will pay, showing a ten rupee note in her hand.
Uncle calmed down instantly and asked his employee to give her the tea. May be he felt bad about his behaviour and noticing the small kid, he offered some "fans" (a kind of snacks to that people eat with tea) to the kid -- for free.
I chuckled, and after the kid's mother accepted the gift, uncle too smiled in his heart.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Of people

It is difficult to part with people. More so, when you don't know if they will move on. Parting forever without saying good bye or smiling at each other is the saddest thing, specially when you know they don't want to part. May be I didn't go up to him, may be I went away from you; yet, I was just at the corner and I am still there. You need to just give a call... you've shut out my voice.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Secret Garden

Having a sore lymphoid node, I needed something to happy to read. This is when I found this book on amazon (I read story-lines of many books before choosing this), it's kindle edition free to read. I was about a seemingly selfish girl of British parents in British-India flown away to her homeland. She was a kid that was never loved by anyone and only memories she had was of slave Indians and a feeling of being boss.
The book describes how her behaviour evolves in the moors of Britain as she meets various people there.  Of course there a secret garden and a friend, a boy whom I became much fond of as everybody is in the book. One who could talk with animals, a wild amiable boy with a pet wolf, crow, two squirrels and a small wild horse.
Besides the girl there is one more who finds his loving nature while they play in the secret garden, the girl's cousin.
Deep inside the  book gives glimpse of the class divide in England. It shows more of the high class side of the picture, probably because the author is more familiar with this. Country-side is always happy and romantic. Yet, I too longed for being in the moors with the wild amiable boy; may be being himself.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rich at heart

Some events make us ashamed of ourselves. Well, I have been through this a lot of times. While walking to lab today one of those memories came up.

Me and my friend were eating idlis. The idli shop consisted of only one big vessel filled with idlis and coconut chutney in a small vessel kept within the big one. A friend of the idliwala too was eating idlis. He too must have been a a daily wager.  A small girl about two years old approached the vendor. She was one of those kids whose parents lived on the footpath. She asked for something to eat. I felt pity but did not give her any. The idliwala's friend gave her one idli. She was happy and went away. The man stood up to go. He also offered the money for the idli which was given to the girl. The idliwala refused to take the money. His friend said, "Tu aple ka nuksaan kertois? Chotya poranche kaay. Tyana kahi kalat naste." (Why should you be at loss? What of kids; they do not understand anything.) He thrust the money in his hands and went away. I stood there belittled. It was becoming difficult to swallow the peace of idli in my mouth.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fever, Robin Cook

FeverFever by Robin Cook
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Having lost his wife to cancer, a physician has taken up cancer research. Contrary to majority of the scientists he thinks that the cure could be found by looking from the immunological perspective. After several years of research with no publications he suddenly has to accelerate his research as the devil strikes again; this time on his daughter. Caught between unyielding chemotherapy and loosing his lab while fighting the industry that released the carcinogenic material in river, he has to take desperate steps...

This fast paced book was like watching a movie. Although not at all convincing to a biologist but entertaining.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Paleo -my thoughts

I have been reading some writeups on paleo diet/living past few months. Mostly it revolves around low carb diet, natural food/vegetables and fruits and physical work. I can't comment on any of the articles but here what I feel how people might have lived in those times.

Humans evolved in Africa. Chimps and us branched out from a common ancestor which was predominantly tree living. Our branch evolved as bipedal organisms that left our hand dangling from our shoulders which allowed their use for doing other things than locomotion. Further we chose a omnivorous lifestyle distinct from vegetarian Australopethecians (our sister species).

The landscape was grassland with small patches of trees. We climbed trees to escape predators and dug tubers, ate fruits and hunted animals in grassland. The animals in grassland were fast at short distances but at marathon distances we were fastest. We were able to run down an animal just by chasing it long enough. This strategy was very successful and gave us continuous/sure source of proteins thus enabling the development of complex brain in short amount of geological time.

Later we developed tools and still continued hunting, the amount of effort reduced to a great extent with help of hunting tools. Majority of our evolutionary time went past without tools and without fish being a food source which is relatively easier to catch with simple tools. There are some key aspects to this kind of living with respect to eating habits that we have evolved with.

First, we hunted in fasting conditions, i.e, after a substancial time had passed after the last meal.
Second, we did not eat immediately after the hunt which was physically demanding task.
Third, we ate locally available tubers, seeds etc.

Hunting during fasting conditions meant we were relying on fat metabolism for energy and  persistence hunting requires running/ walking/tracking-animals in aerobic zone only in which energy supply by fat burning can be sustainable. After the hunt, the animal was cooked and then eaten which took time. Point is, we did not eat before and after  physical work (you may call it workout).

Humans ate only locally available stuff as compared to modern people following paleo-diet.

I do not want to conclude anything from this buteach one of you might ponder on how our ancestors' eating and workout pattern was and how our eating and workout pattern is.

Also keep in the back of your mind that we are predisposed towards storage of extra carbs in the form of fat for later use during fasting. 

P.S.: I request people expert in Homo sapiens evolution  to add more light on this.