Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Healing Zephyr

PhD life tends to become very boring and monotonous. For a period of 5 long years (sometimes, even more!), the daily rut consists of going to the lab in the morning and staying there till late in the night, working on a research project that no one in the 'real world' actually cares about. The only highlights in this drab existence are the rare occasions when one's experiments work and take one a teeny-weeny step closer to completion of the PhD thesis. There is hardly time for anything else and hobbies and creativity become things of the past. Any little leisure time is wasted wallowing in self-pity. Social interactions and outings are limited to lab meetings and conferences. Normal social skills become a big zero. Friends and family are forgotten in the pursuit of science. Life takes a back seat.

Some people enjoy such a 'scientifically fulfilling' life, in fact, they thrive in it. But for the vast majority, it is a complete misfit. I fall somewhere in between. I try hard to strike a balance between 'Grad life' and the life I love. Not that I don't like doing a PhD - I'm here by choice - but I would definitely like my existence to be peppered with some more of the delicious ingredient called 'LIFE'.

Rarely do I meet people who share my view, least so in the field of science. When I do meet like minds, it's like a breath of fresh air, a healing zephyr. But these occasions are few and far between. And so, when a young little zephyr blew into our lab, I made most of the moment and let my hair blow in the refreshing breeze. The young zephyr brought in a whiff of another world, a world without a care, a world where one did what made one happy. It brought in laughter and music, fun and play, and a little bit of science as well. It was full of life and zest - filled to the very brim and overflowing. It infused me with new vigour, or should I say, brought back my old self - the self that used to laugh and sing, and write and play, and be happy and free, just like the breeze. A forgotten world jumped back to life - poetry and paintings, photography and philosophy, books and animation films, fun and laughter. And I promised myself that I would not lose sight of this wonderful world ever again.


Blogger Chandradhish said...

The arms spread...the mind opens and the feelings just flow...the way, not the zephyr, but the heart should show...

7:12 pm  
Blogger MM said...

Trudging along life's prickly path,
'twas refreshing to feel the gentle breeze blow...
Because of the healing zephyr,
back to my heart, I once again go...

9:14 am  
Blogger Bastet said...

Lovely post, MayaM :) pray who be it, may I ask?

10:51 pm  
Blogger Neeraj said...

Hey Maya, it's really great you're doing your PhD in India. I read an editorial recently expressing concern about the small number of people conducting PhD research in Indian universities.

Most choose to do it oversees- thus contributing to the 'brain drain'.

10:24 am  

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