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Because I watched Wonder Woman... :D

I am just back from a screening of Wonder Woman and I must say that it is a gorgeous film. It has a good story, stunning visuals, several funny moments and the best part is that it has a female superhero in a movie that's this big! I loved it. I loved how she has a large presence as a very very strong woman. It is truly a joy to watch a female superhero saving the hero, being badass and taking the lead in the fight against evil. 
This movie is shot almost entirely from a woman's perspective. There are many scenes where Wonder Woman is seen perplexed about the ways of men and mankind, she wonders why a woman would wear a tight dress if she can't fight in it, or why she isn't allowed in a council discussing the future course for the "great war". She questions the role of men in life going as far as saying that she's learned that "men are integral to reproduction, but unnecessary for the purposes of pleasure". This was an awesome line and it's…
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Ten realizations after working in a wet lab

I started working in a biology lab about a year ago and realized quite a few things while I learnt the ropes. Here they are in no particular order. You go through a lot of pipette tips and latex gloves thereby generating a lot of non-biodegradable waste. So yeah, research does not always help the world, sometimes it just generates new trash. You run out of good clothes because almost all of them have bleach stains on them. And of course, that's because you're too lazy to put on a lab coat. You develop a bit of an OCD coz' you're constantly worried that you didn't turn on the shaker, or left your bacteria plate in the incubator for too long or left the gas on, etc. I can actually list a whole page of stuff I worry about long after I've left for home. :PBacterial contamination can ruin your experiments and make you lose a day and sometimes more.Tiny tubes of 40 micro-liters of enzyme cost over USD 200. That sure seems like a lot of money!You have to make media an…

Nature gives us no choice...

The breaking news story in the world of sports right now is the one about Serena Williams announcing her pregnancy. And while this is probably good news, it is not something her fans look forward to. I'm sure it must have been a huge decision for her and something that she must be coming to terms with even now as I write this. The pregnancy means that Serena Williams, the best women's tennis player ever in the open era, who is still at her prime and has just won the Australian Open 2017 will now miss the rest of the season this year. How unfair is that! Why does she have to choose between being a mother and playing tennis when her male counterparts just go through parenthood with a breeze. They never ever have to sit out, never have to make such life changing decisions, never have to contemplate and plan their return to tennis after the birth of their child. 
It is just frustrating that the likes of Djokovic and Federer have been at their prime winning titles with fatherhood …

The experimental conundrum

It's been more than eight months since I took the decision to try my hands at experiments. It was a crazy decision to say the least. I have gone from "Hah! What was I thinking!!" to "God! This is so taxing!" to "Yeah! I own this shit. No big deal." It's been frustrating and overwhelming and yet so worth the time and effort I put in. 
When I started out last year, it was the first time in 7 years that I even held a beaker or a conical flask in my hand, let alone a living organism like a worm. I was unsure if I would be any good and it seemed overwhelming. But, I took the plunge anyway. In the beginning I was excited about this fresh challenge. Call it my ignorance, but what I didn't realize at the time was that I would have to be attuned to the worm's and its food, the bacteria's, life cycle. This meant that some steps of the experimental protocol would fall late at night or early in the morning. And so, I became the legendary sleep de…

Happy women's day, I guess

Today, March 8th, is recognized all over the world as a special day to celebrate women. And, all the ads and trending videos on social media today depict a super woman, a woman so adept at multitasking that it is second nature to her. The message in most of these videos suggests why men should celebrate her as she is a nurturer, a homemaker, a multitasker always on top of her job. It's great that the world celebrates us at least one day out of 365. But frankly, I don't see the point. I don't see how it helps, coz the most basic thing like education and financial independence for a woman to feel equal to men is sometimes missing. 
Let me go back a couple generations to illustrate this. My Dadi (my father's mother) was allowed to go to school only until class 4 or so. She was married off to my grandfather at age 11. Same was the case with my Nani (my mother's mother). That was the world they knew. They barely learnt to read and do some basic maths and that's it …

Turning 30

I am turning 30 today. I thought I didn't really care about that number. It didn't matter, it's just a number I told myself, same as 29, or 28. But as it turns out, I am a little sad. I am sad that I will no longer be in my 20s, the decade I considered undeniably "young". This is also a time that is making me introspect about what I am yet to do, yet to learn and yet to achieve. It is silly really, but I think all the years of brainwashing that society and movies drill into you have had an effect on me. I thought I was immune to this, but apparently I am not. 
But, if you look at it another way, I needn't be sad at all. In fact, I should be happy that I am still young and have seen a little bit of life and therefore am wiser. So today, I want to remind myself of all the good things in my life and also of all that I have achieved so far, the goals I had set that have been completed, or are at least on their way to completion. 
I am an independent working woman…

Changing track with a new postdoc position - a personal account

This post was first published here: http://www.sciwri.club/archives/1311

Postdoc life is tough. It is the life of a nomad, where you are forced to change base every couple of years, sometimes every year. Add to it further considerations of visas and work permits (because like others before you, you too want to go abroad, mostly to Europe or US, no less!) and you have a plethora of concerns about your next job. In such a scenario, it always makes sense to plan ahead, to know at least 6-8 months in advance if your contract is going to get extended, if your PI has enough funding and if you do want to stay on or move to another place.
I faced similar dilemmas last year when I knew my term at Hopkins would end in 2016. I still had about a year to plan and prepare for my next move. And so, the first step I took was to register for a small conference where most of the speakers were those whose work interested me. This, I thought, would give me a good opportunity to gather information first h…