Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Its time to head back home for a bit...
Since my joining date at work is still a little way off, I will be visiting home after a gap of almost a year. Looking forward to it in a big way. My old room, the home food, the city's twinkling neon lights, the traffic jams, the noise and the lure of meeting old friends all seem very enticing. The funny thing is sometimes I feel like just chucking it and going back for good. Being away just makes you more homesick I guess, nothing more. When I had come to Singapore, I had these big dreams of making it in the financial markets in this region and the whole global experience thingy seemed very exciting. It still does, especially now when I have a foot in the door at least. But this thought creeps in once in a while. I guess it'll go away as soon as work life starts...
In other news, my flatmates (also my batch mates) are likely to join Indian companies and look set to head back. Its highly likely that when I return, I might come back to an empty house. Its a scary thought, believe me. This place had just started feeling like a home and we felt like a family. We celebrated together, we shouldered the bad times together, laughed and cried with each other and were each others' strength and weakness alike. Now its time for everyone to go their own way and a part of me sometimes doesn't want it to happen. Selfish, I know but its true. I guess I'm in the transition phase and its just a matter to sticking it out and getting used to the next routine. I guess this has added to the way I am feeling about home. Makes you realise that Home is indeed the people you come back to.
Anyways, enough whining. I shall be in Kolkata for close to 3 weeks and hope to partake of all that it has to offer to the fullest. There will be luncheons at relatives places, kilos and kilos of fish, dinners at Peter Cat (Ron, I owe you a virtual meal there!), Mocambo, BBQ, Blue Fox, Oasis (the mixed grill sizzler is divine!) and Tangra, movies with the galphriend, addas with the 'para' boys and cups of 'bhaander cha'. And this time I intend to see the whole of the National museum! I will be updating my blog there as well, so watch out for more photoblogs on the wonderful city of Kolkata. Home.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Luncheon with the President

The Nanyang Technological University was fortunate enough to be one of the destinations of HE APJA Kalam's Singapore official visit. Students of the university were given the opportunity to hear the President at a luncheon at the University. Students from all disciplines, both undergraduate and postgraduate registered for this event with much enthusiasm. I myself jumped at the opportunity as it would perhaps be impossible to get this sort of an event going in India. Ironic ya? The school of Biological Sciences had the responsibility of hosting the president. We all showed up the designated time of 11 am.
The famed Indian Standard Time reared its ugly head again and we were made to wait for a another couple of hours before the President actually arrived with his entourage. The small hall with around 150 students stood up and applauded his arrival. After a few cursory welcome messages by the the Dean and Chairman of the University, the little fisherman's son came to the microphone. He spoke about the technological convergence of biological sciences, nanotechnology and information technology. It was part of his bigger vision of how science and education can together uplift the youth of emerging countries and contribute to growth and prosperity. He was aided by a fancy Powerpoint presentation (a tool which he regularly uses for all his speeches, I understand). During his speech he also paid homage to the great Indian scientists like Vikram Sarabhai, Chandrasekhar and JC Bose. He also spoke about his association with a few of them and regaled the audience with some tales from their lives. The teacher in the President got the better of him on most occasions when he started explaining the scientific terms that he used in his speech. He actually described in detail what the Chandrasekhar limit was! He had to check himself on more than a couple of occasions lest he got carried away. His speech ended with how Singapore and India could cooperate on scientific issues for mutual and global benefit. He also mentioned that he was very impressed with the technological focus of the University and spoke about the work that he had seen in the laboratories.
For me, it was a moment of pride. It was a reflection of a changing and fast moving India. How many Presidents in the world can balance science and politics as easily as this man? How many of them have such impressive resumes? That he is from a very humble background is also testament to how India is a land that can truly nurture talent, no matter where its origins lie. We have a lot to do and a long way to go, but it truly was a great occasion to celebrate India. The President then had lunch with the students and obliged photographs and autographs alike. He does have an endearing quality about him. A demeanor of a lovable professor rather than that of a politician. But I guess thats because thats who he is and we are all the better for it. I'd rather have a man like this than a hardened and corrupt politician. He truly commands respect. 'Jai Hind' to that.

PS: The President begins most of his replies with the line. 'see, its like this...'