Monday, July 24, 2006

Poetic Inspiration

There was a period, between December 2001 and April 2003 that I was on a creative high, spouting poems at the drop of a hat. The creative stream ran to a trickle, and finally stopped with one last loud sigh in December 2003 when I wrote a long, funny poem about my workplace and company, which Was funny because at least 20 of my colleagues laughed when I read it out, and it did not sound like they were laughing out of politeness.

Now, more than 2 and a half years later, the best that I was able to come up with while sniffing and rubbing my nose with the back of my hand this morning before leaving for school, is this two liner:

A cold, and lack of paper tissue,
Definitely creates a nasal issue.

Oh well.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Potato Farmer

That is one of my new epithets.

When Piyali came in Feb, she saw that some of the potatoes in the kitchen had sprouted rather vociferously. Not wanting to get rid of them, she put them in a small
styrofoam box with water. The plants were growing, but the potatoes were rotting and creating a stink. A month ago, we removed the water, cut off the rotten parts and put in soil (still in these small styrofoam boxes). Ever since the plants have been looking sorrier and sorrier till they totally dried up. 2 weeks ago I decided to get rid of the plants all together and use the soil elsewhere, and digging in, I found baby potatoes! Some are an inch across, and many are a little more than a centimeter.

Yesterday, I "harvested" four tiny potatoes from my 1 square-foot field. Today, I am going to eat food that I grew myself! If not PhD, then PF. Not much of a variation from earlier undergrad years during exam time: if not an engineer, then a vada pav (potato-fritters and buns, a Very popular fast food)cart owner.

Just In Time

Two days ago, I redefined the concept of Just in Time. We submitted a prospective paper online about a minute before the deadline. Do not ask me how it came about to be so. It was about the baby I did not know much about (but my colleagues at the other university did). This race to the finish was a result of an overlooked mailing, an unreceived email, different time zones, miscommunication, very tight schedules, politics, strategy and a lot of, and I mean a lot of last-minute head-scratching. My pulse rate was double even 15 minutes after I finished the submission.

Unfortunately, the very fact that we got it submitted does not mean that I am happy and everything is hunky-dory. As always, anything last minute means that there is compromise on quality. And since I was the last person in the chain before the paper got in, the buck stops with me. Oh well, if the paper gets accepted then all is fine, if not, then I really hope I do not make the big mistake, of being reactive, of getting defensive and passingon the blame. On the other hand, maybe even before we get a decision, I could just go ahead and pre-empt the situation by giving all the reasons why it may not go through. Something to think about, eh?