Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All In A Name, Not All For A Name

“Leuconostoc mesenteroides…Roseomonas gillardi…Elizabethkingia meningoseptica”

This sounds like an event of history or an opening line of a tragic story, ages ago a kingdom ran out of stock of roses for their queen and therefore the king died in septic grief.  Trust me this did not happen. Unfortunately and very interestingly there is something else to make it worse, imagine if you were meeting these living beings every other morning. Yes, they are some and I get to. And all are names of micro organisms which the Vitek machine in our laboratory that identifies them comes up with. Brows up I look at the print outs of the reports every day, my textbooks make no mention of them and all my professors do all the research that is possible before reporting them as a potential pathogen which could cause some disease. The worst thing for us doctors is expecting them in a patient’s blood. Of course there is nothing more dangerous than a Staphylococcus, but these strange ones too are enough to make us think. 

Where on earth do these come from?  I mean this fact just amazes me, we do not know the names or the role of more than half of the living things that make our world. Isn't it alienating enough? More hilarious is the christening, why do most of the researchers end up giving a name to their invention or discovery which is nothing but difficult to remember, duh! The other day one of my teachers was telling in his class “In the field of science, there are no friends, there are no enemies”. I guess that is the reason why one ends up being blunt and comes up with such out of the world names after years of locking himself up with something. Things like these can happen only in science. Once you get into it, nothing else makes sense to you. And maybe what you are up to will never to anybody else. Well it all started a very long ago, check out these root words for proof, Biology Study Guide. Greek and Latin, and languages that are beyond our scope of understanding or so we think, my respect to you. 

A friend of mine comes across such very interesting matters to read every other moment, recently  I happened to ask him how does this occur only to him, all he said was “ It is like travelling, you start somewhere head in a direction, you keep encountering nice stuff,  they decide your direction” Inspired, I decided to do my Internet exploring and this is what I found after my little research: 

Picture Courtesy
Okay do not laugh at me if I call this beetle Arnold Schwarzenegger. I hope I am getting the spelling right. For all its physique it is called the ‘Agra schwarzeneggeri’, for a more mind boggling list: THE List. An another orthopedician friend during our MBBS days used to tell me that he wants a medical syndrome named after him, I believe he still does and will work on it. Sometimes I wonder if it is the science that is weird, or the scientists. It is all in a name, the difficulty to remember and understand so much for sure, all the excitement apart. But the real ordeal to most of us who are totally into science know this one definite thing, those skipped lunches and sleepless nights are not just for a name. We f********* just not, but truly love science;-)


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Best Thing

“The best thing in life is…”

This wasn't an essay or a debate topic for Harry and the school he was supposed to go to was somewhere five miles down the town. Such intellectual discussions happened there, so people believed but not him. He hardly knew anything about what happened in that place. His father always insisted on going because he thought it was worth more than anything, no matter what his son had to go through to get there. They taught what hundred minus eight is, how cells divide and children are born, when wars were fought, why elections happen, where North Pole on the globe is and things like that in that place, so he was told. But the boy that Harry was, such questions never excited him. He was more into the mountains and the waters, roads and the forests, birds and the cattle, trees and the blooms. Somehow he thought he had more learning to do from them, which he did.

Harry used to leave his house everyday taking the name of school. His mother packed a box of lunch for him. He would walk to the left of the forked road, while all his friends choose the other way. He knew the principal’s letter would reach his home some day soon, he did not care. He would walk till his ankles ached. When he would reach his favourite spot he would sit on the plains and observe each little thing around him. The silence of the lake, the hills standing tall, the wild flowers contrasting the green, the clouds sailing directionless, the rabbits that nibbled nothing but grass, the crows that flew together over his head when he opened his lunch box, he admired them all. Everything was in a perfect balance, like someone up there was teaching him what he yearned to know. This was his kind of schooling. 

On a not so fine day as Harry feared, the letter reached his home. And sadly his life from then on has changed. His mother packs a nicer lunch and his father insists more. He drops and picks him up from school. In the evenings he teaches what hundred minus eight is, how cells divide and children are born, when wars were fought, why elections happen, where North Pole on the globe is, again and again. But only Harry knows what the best thing in life is, for he has already learnt it.

“The best thing in life is to be able to live it the way you want, like it makes no difference to anyone in this world, even after you are dead and done with it without the idea bothering you. It looks like everyone is up to that, not really. Most of the things that we do are for one or the other selfish reason, categorically speaking there is ‘good selfish’ and ‘bad selfish’. Normally we would do it because of the former and in difficult times for the latter. We have to take this truth with a pinch of salt, we all live with intentions. But life is not just about pain or gain, plans or goof ups, love or hatred, friends or foes, success or failures, facts or figures, days or nights. To be able to experience it, understand it, appreciate it all unconditionally and equally calls for an effort. And to learn every now and then from everything around us, well that is the challenge, the best thing”


  PS: This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda