Working out

Posted: April 22, 2006 in Personal

There were a zillion things on my mind as I walked into the premises of the CRC building. There were so many things to do and I found myself unable to work out my way through the mess. The day was hot and humid. Even the interiors seemed damp today. The CRC is always a busy place at this hour. I got a towel and changed into my sports gear. I started out; walking slowly, looking around to see if I knew anyone around but did not seem to care much. Two long minutes passed by and I started walking fast. I could feel the warmth of my blood rushing into my legs. I started jogging. At only 5.5 mph, I had already begun to feel my rectus femoris and soleus gasping for oxygen. But I continued, knowing very well that my body would comfortably accustom to the rhythm and make up for the deficit. I ran… faster and faster. I was not even looking at the screen in front of me. I could just see the one point where my forefingers alternately reached as I took each step. Each time my shoulders swung around my torso, I could feel the soft cotton of my shirt sticking to my skin right down to my lower back. Sweat trickled freely down my forehead and I immediately wiped it off. I still had a while before I could stop. The incline was even greater now and my thighs burned. I slowed down and then slowed even further. I then felt cool as the sweat dried off. The endorphins had started taking effect and I felt good and calm. It was the most wonderful work-out session I had had. I had covered 3.2 miles on the treadmill and come as many miles away from all the clutter filled up in my mind when I had entered the CRC. When I stopped, I was where I had started but I was ready to take on anything that came my way.

Inter-collegiate shuttle

Posted: October 31, 2005 in Personal

I wait for my shuttle to Georgia Institute of Technology almost every day. School is just about 10 miles away but it takes me exactly an hour and 27 minutes to reach. I wonder whether I should read a book or call a friend as I sometimes do. I look at my watch; the minute hand seems to make an effort to lift itself. I do neither. The time is perfect for the view, the campus and the route have to offer. Trees on the campus have changed color but here, the trees are still green. Fall has arrived and darkness has set in a little before 30 minutes past 5. Pale yellow light floods the sidewalk of the Emory University Hospital as I board the bus. As we leave the campus, I look at the Atlanta skyline; now a black silhouette against the fiery orange sky. The torch light atop the Sun Trust tower pierces the wispy clouds. The sight sends a wave of exhilaration through me. I take this route so frequently but today, the view was breath-taking. As we enter the quiet residential areas of Piedmont Park, orange pumpkin heads and witches look back at me. The houses which looked so pretty in the bright sunshine a couple of weeks back, now look spooky in the dark. I do not know why but today even the lights in the shuttle were not switched on. A sudden glare of light enters through my window. I immediately feel the presence of the crowd and the busy shops in the downtown area and realize that I am close to my destination. The shuttle turns onto Fowler Street and enters the campus. I make the same journey everyday. I take the same route everyday. My eyes meet a different sight everyday. Today’s is the most vivid.

Strictly Speaking

Posted: October 6, 2005 in Personal

Currently I am reading a book called ‘Strictly Speaking’ by Edwin Newman. It describes the usage of English in the present times- how English had changed to just a few ‘cool’ phrases and how the language is manipulated to describe simple situations in complicated terms to gain importance and how wrong English is used today as if there was nothing wrong in using it the way it is. I can very well identify with most situations described in the book. Using phrases like ‘funner’, ‘name of the game’,’ like this… like that…like like…’ does not and should not make you cool. Not using them does not make a person less funny or less interesting to talk to you but the use of these words in your day to day speech decide whether you are amiable or not. Spellings do not matter as long as you can convey the word. I purposely said ‘convey the word’ because I cannot understand how you can convey the meaning of a word without knowing the spelling. Words are not generated form phonetics; they are rooted in the meaning of your action or description of something. I have pointed out errors to my friend who often misspells words and does not find it worthwhile to pay attention to her spellings. ‘Everyone does it and nobody cares’ is the reply. Well not everyone does it and some people care. Think about it this way. ‘If I were to rite a leter to your compani and descryb myself as metyculous and efactive in comunication and that you would greightly benifit if you higher me’ what would you think of me? A person hiring you will definitely notice these controversies. What you write reflects on you as an individual. Words have the strength to characterize you for someone who reads what you write without knowing what kind of a person you are. They convey much more about you than their mere meaning. Words are not complete without their correct spelling, form and pronunciation.

After six years of hard core electronic design and advanced image procesing, it seemed quite difficult to face the challenge of studying cell physiology. I started off, rather intimidated by the subject and its contents and extremely anxious as to how I could cope up with this ‘new’ field. But soon it did not seem so hard. After all, it was just the state of the art information, no complex theories or the standard mathematical proofs and yet everything I have learnt till today in this class is perfectly ‘engineered’. The more I understand about the mechanisms for DNA replication, and protein synthesis, the more amazed I am at our cellular engineers. Everything seems so perfect that I feel nothing can get better than this. You have a trigger for every process, a control mechanism, a feedback system, repair, an emergency stop,and a systematic termination. Each cellular process seem to occur in an assembly line one step after another in a pre-decided order. I am intrigued by how we use all the ‘engineering’ terms to describe these perfect cellular factories and in general, any biological event. For example, some Mr.X works like a machine, the brain is like a computer, cell builds proteins, DNA ligase stitches Okazakis and yet I cannot imagine the opposite: The computer is brainy! My tailor ligates clothes! It makes me think that biology can be easily visualised and the processes easily simplified by an engineer’s mind and not the other way around but we could end up finding the solutions of all engineering problems in biology.