Skip to main content

Is it time already?

Baltimore Inner Harbor
I have about two weeks left in Baltimore, my first home outside India. And, I'm starting to get this sense that everything I do now is going to be for the last time. That is a weird feeling to have. This really may not even be the last time and I might come to Baltimore again, even if for a short visit, but it will never be home again. 

I came to Baltimore as a fresh PhD from India, leaving behind the life I had created for myself in Bangalore for over 6 years. Flying across half the world and moving over to a new country wasn't going to be easy, and so I was more anxious than excited. It didn't help that I landed here in late November when the cold winter was already under way. I was worlds away from everyone I loved and completely clueless about how things were done here. Of course, like everyone else before me, I too figured out everything. But, in those initial few months, I often wondered who would know or care if something happened to me right then. I was home sick and wallowing in self-pity. Nothing unusual there. 

It didn't help that Baltimore is a sleepy town, with few people and fewer things to do. It has pockets of unsafe areas tucked between any two safe neighbourhoods. And, among those safe neighbourhoods, the Inner Harbour area is the only place where people seem to be having fun without needing to resort to alcohol. It is the one spot with some great street performances every now and then and some "life" to speak of. Everywhere else it has a sort of a "boring town" vibe. And, it is in this setting that I landed.

But gradually, I grew comfortable with my surroundings, I made a few friends, I discovered events and things to do in this city, I realized how close the city of Washington DC was from here and how beautiful its memorials and how wonderful its museums were. I also tried my hand at volleyball and more recently started running with a friend. I discovered specific Indian and Italian restaurants that appealed to my palette. And, without even realizing when it happened, I became comfortable here.      

I also achieved to some extent what I came here for, an advancement for my career. I learnt a lot in these two and a half years, growing both professionally and personally. But now I feel is the right time to move on to something new. Baltimore wasn't my favourite place in the world to begin with and still isn't. I am in fact excited to be moving on to a new city, to a different lab and I don't even know if I'll miss what I have here. But, it is my first home in a foreign land, and for that, it will forever hold a special place in my heart.

So, is it time already?



  1. Replies
    1. Boston/Cambridge - Harvard University :)

    2. Cool... awesome! Congratulations and best wishes for the new adventure :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Advocating for science

A country's expenditure on research and the attitudes of its citizens towards science and technology are one of the leading parameters of development of a country. India spends about 0.65 % of its GDP (world bank data for 2015) on research and development, a number that has not changed much in two decades. The Indian educational system too on the other hand does not help in creating scientific temperament. The education is mostly a means to secure a job, any job, however far removed it might be from the field you've studied. 
These issues are even more apparent when you interact with people not related to the field. There is a lack of curiosity about science even among educated people. In fact, some are also of the view that it is a waste of the taxpayer's money. They go so far as to complain about the fact that their tax money is being used to fund PhD scholarships of students in Indian institutions. This, when the government's own defense and space research related …

Can you ever question your belief in God?

Your religion is decided for you based on the family you're born into almost immediately after your birth. This is further reinforced during your childhood with the various customs and rituals that you're part of, each one involving prayers to a higher being. Then, it is no surprise that you get brainwashed into believing in God. After all, it is the biggest fantasy or myth that your parents and your community have indulged in and have made you a part of, so much so, that it becomes part of your identity. Later when you experience more of the world, learn more science, see more sense in logic than unfounded beliefs, you start to question the existence of God. You notice how the fallacy of the religious belief begs the question that if God created man, who created God? You probably have already imbibed so much of the belief both consciously and sub-consciously that any loss in this faith comes across to you as a desertion of your own identity. How then can you ever break away …

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 …