Friday, March 30, 2012

"The Mine", visited (A Review)

Having been familiar with the musings of Arnab Ray via his immensely popular blog (written under his nom de blog 'Greatbong'), I picked up his newly-published book, The Mine, the second one in his oeuvre, with pleasurable anticipation. I expected Arnab's usual style, a lighthearted and witty banter while holding forth on various topics of contemporary significance focused on India, a style in which the barbs engender a belly-laughter even as they sink in. The Mine - available as a paperback in India through his publishers and various other outlets, and as an eBook outside India via Amazon - does nothing of that sort. My preconceptions were exhaled forcefully as if I were sucker-punched in the solar plexus, as the narrative gripped me with its intensity and unslackening pace.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

'Life' as a scientist: The Cheshire Cat effect

Another post after a brief hiatus because of work-related pressure. I'm sure nobody missed me, though. -Sniff!- Well, the pressure's still on, but let's say I was inspired to write this post by a chance occurrence, a question asked by a physician friend of mine. An accomplished and established surgeon in India, he is considering various possibilities and options, having recently learnt that his young son is desirous of coming to the US to pursue a career in biological research.

He asked me: how is life as a scientist in biological sciences or genetics etc? Very tough, boring life that leaves you no time? Or fulfilling and all that?

You could hear from a mile the sound of my mental machinery creaking and groaning and whirring. Naturally, I'd be delighted to welcome a budding scientist to the fold, but I also wanted to provide my friend with as true and complete a picture as I possibly could.