Friday, December 05, 2008

Its kind of funny, the unexplainably weird kind of funny, that I heard a lecture today about memory and then I came home to read this about HM, the most famous amnesia patient ever . This was one of the reasons I chose neuroscience as a field, the enormous void of things we don't know, and its come one full circle today, somehow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Life in Montreal...

.... is simply great, especially now that summer is here. Or I should say summer is almost here. There are days that are sprinkled with enough sunlight to make me happy, but mostly in the past week its been dark and rainy. Good for movie days and nights, or lying sprawled with a book.

Our apartment is in beautiful shape finally. This has simply been one of the longest settling-in's ever... and thats how we know that we have friends here. Almost every evening was spent outside, giving us hardly anytime to ourselves or to unpack our 101 boxes of burden. In addition, everytime we were in Ikea I was distracted by all the things that we didn't need, driving K insane, but finally.. finally I was back to the ground, and now we have a pad for ourselves and for family and friends to visit us in Montreal. All this happened just before K left for Frankfurt and Warsaw for another work related trip, so he is now across the Atlantic filling himself with all the sausages, beer and döner kebab that he misses in his beloved Germany :).. ok I am sort of kidding, but not really.

Food is super here. We live in an immigrant zone in Montreal where there are more Greeks, Russians, Lebanese than Quebecois, and 5 minutes from home is this row of varied eating places, that we kind of toss a coin for choosing which one, almost every other night. The people are friendly too, and not at all politically correct*. Its refreshing almost. The other part of North America. Never dreamed about being here, but now that I am (we are), its comfortable.


* well... so long as you don't joke about Quebec independence, or about Montreal Canadiens!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Link and news

One of the most comprehensive articles on Dr Binayak's arrest and continual denial of bail that I have read so far; please do read.

In the meantime we have been traveling like crazy...India, Cambodia, Canada, Italy and now we are in Congo. We have an apartment in Montreal already and all I am dreaming of right now is to somehow get there soon and start having some sort of a schedule again...away from this continual nomadic existence. I love the traveling but, with no place called home to return to at the end of not just days but months, its starting to get hard on us. I guess we are not qualified long-term backpackers yet even though for me 3 months on the road is actually long enough. Once we are in Montreal I hope to be regular again on the blog. Au revoir from Kinshasa.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Update One

All my wishful thinking comes to naught. We will be moving again early next year, to Montreal, Canada. And just this once I am so looking forward to the move. This year and the next promises to be more of the roller-coaster life has been ever since K and I have been together. At times I feel its never going to end... and I do want to settle a bit! Not to be boring or anything but... too much moving is not good for the back, you know. Anyways I have been so hopeless that in the mad rush of running around, trying to get things done at work and getting papers ready for the next step, I have clean forgotten all festivals this year. So before I forget, a belated Shubho Bijoya and an early Diwali wish, because who knows when I get the time and inclination to sit down again. I have been mentally composing posts meanwhile, supposedly witty and at times whimsical ones, but I can't remember any of them anymore.

Before the end of the year we have to file for the visa and make a trip to India which is long overdue but will comprise of a mere 10 days, then we come back, try to sell stuff and hope that things move smoothly through the transition. I am a knot these days, so tied up and feeling so restricted in all dimensions. I will be happy to breathe in some Indian air and see some other colours very soon. Can't wait. And in the meantime I am filing away all our books on Shelfari, its pretty cool.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

barely breathing

Feels like I have been away forever. Its not really the settling time or anything but rather a lack of motivation for all things. The apartment has been ready for quite some time and we really feel at home now. Its an old building where we live, our balcony faces the same backyard square as do quite a few other balconies, we can hear the churchbells ring every hour and on weekends one can hear the Italian across singing soulful ballads at the top of his voice in competition to the songs playing on his stereo. Some nearby apartment seems inhabited by a bunch of Punjabis whom we can hear jabbering away at lunchtime, and then there are children screaming away in the evening playing in the backyard square. These sounds of living were unexpected since our house contract and people's experiences made us cautious about making much noise, but the joys of finding it otherwise in our small corner makes me feel like I am home again.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

for Dr. Binayak Sen

Update1 : from the PUCL groups link

Update2 : Dr.Binayak's brother's blog and SaveBinayak site from UK

We have been in this cocoon for a while during this move. Just immersed in settling in and ignoring all else, other than weekly calls to parents.

Today my father told me that a family friend has been arrested. Dr. Binayak Sen was my pediatrician, and he was that and more for more people than I could possibly imagine, and he is being held in Raipur jail on false charges. Maybe you already know the story, and maybe you don't but these are the links that will guide you through what he is, his work and the horrible injustice of it all, and if you would petition 1 and 2 and/or could help in any other way I would be most grateful.

When I was a baby, during the first 2 years of my life, he was my doctor. Regular checkups, my mother's concerns and any pointers for me were all shared with him. He left for another task too early for me to significantly detect the change, and we also left for a different place for a short while. When we returned, and whenever he and his wife did come for visits to the campus, they always dropped in and it was then that I came to know my childhood doctor more and more. He was mostly serious, now and then breaking into a smile that lit everyone up, but whom I loved more and felt closer to was his wife Ilina. She was always so radiant, and so full of life and energy. I think I was a very immature kid, in that I never realized how much these two would go through on an everyday basis and how much of it I was oblivious to in my sheltered life. Their stories, their work, and how much they gave up for doing all that they did, never came home to me till I was in college. And even now its something that I have admired from afar, and have held close as a hope, and an optimistic view of all that could be done if one only wanted and chose to do so. Till today, when some these hopes came crashing down. For someone who has given everything to try and build up health care in one of the poorest parts of India, courageously carried on despite all odds still retaining the sense of humour and hope in everyday life that many lose in lesser circumstances, I cannot imagine what he or his wife would be feeling now. I don't know how this happens, how is it that sincere, logical and humane voices are silenced for nothing more than upholding the very humanity they work so hard to enable, and that we all supposedly should share.

It really hit hard this time. Partly because of a personal connection, but more so because I have been seriously thinking of going back to do something in the organisations that have been built by people we know, and this was such a kick in my guts. I am just hoping and praying for Dr. Binayak Sen and Ilina mashi. Apart from communicating their plight across, there is not much else that I can do. And this sense of powerlessness should never be a part of democracy.

Monday, March 26, 2007

There is no internet at home, and the packed boxes almost reach the ceiling in our bedroom. This moving business is never-ending with delays and bumps that are inherent to the process. But its all good, this time there are 2 of us doing it, and yesterday with the sun shining down us and the songs of our courting playing loudly in the background, we were so relaxed, and smiling at the piles of cardboard before us. Today is reserved for dismantling all the 101 bookcases that comprise our furniture, and tommorrow is the designated panic day where we find all the small but supremely important things that we've managed to leave out, before the truck comes and puts us out of this packing misery, and flings us into the unpacking madness thereafter. I doubt there will be any posts before we get our internet set up in Basel, till then take care.

All this makes me remember my last packing experience less than 2 years ago. I hope the next time lies further away!