May 28, 2009

Luck by chance

Note: This has nothing to do with the movie.

By no standards am I an indecisive person. In fact for almost every situation where there's a choice, one choice outweighs the other in my head all along however small the difference maybe. However while I know this internally, to actually make that choice and make it real is the bigger deal to me. It's sort of treading the fine line between the logical choice and the sometimes frivolous ones. While it seems obvious off the top to pick the logical one at all times, sometimes, I'd go for the frivolous one for reasons ranging from laziness to curiosity. But not wanting to be entirely responsible for making the choice, I leave it to fate. I tell myself that for me to proceed with the one choice or the other, I need another sign. And I assign these signs myself. Thankfully I am not biased to the signs as well which would negate the whole fate thing. With equal opportunity signs, I go for the choice from the sign that shows up first. For example, recently I've become exceedingly lazy to change trains. I'd rather take a bus-train combo that takes 10 minutes longer to reach than the bus-train-train combo. But on the days that I am in a hurry, I make the logical choice - the quicker one. On the days that I am not, I leave it to fate. If the bus that goes all the way close to college shows up first, I take the bus-train combo and if the bus that goes just to the station shows up I take the bus-train-train quicker combo. This way I am not entirely to blame, see? Of course that's just one of the examples in a whole lot where other "signs" indicate different choices to me. Makes sense? Sounds weird? Do you do it too?

May 27, 2009

Le Cirque du Gavarnie

Breathtaking.. the only way to describe it. Here, take a look yourself. The natural amphitheatrical valley between France and Spain.

Tip: Click on the photo for the full-sized panorama.

Plate of vegetables

When we were on our trip, we went to have a Tex-Mex dinner at an authentic Tex-Mex restaurant in Dax. One of the reasons that I love Mexican food is that it's easy to adapt into a vegetarian dish. But having been all excited about dinner at a Mexican place after eons, on getting there to my surprise the menu didn't contain any vegetarian items. I wasn't bothered too much about that because I was sure that on request any non-vegetarian dish could be made into vegetarian by simply not adding the meat. However to my anguish, the waiter informed me that they couldn't modify any of the dishes on the menu. Which meant me n S could go hungry that night. As an after thought however, he added that they had a plate of vegetables if I was interested. What does that sound to you like? A plate that's filled with fresh/boiled vegetables with no spice nothing (that's how the French make veggies - just boiled and nothing else) and that's about it, right? With no other choice, we went ahead and ordered it and look what they brought us?

Clockwise from right bottom: Kidney beans, onion rings, wheat soufflé, baked potato, capsicum-tomato grilled mix, salad, smoked potatoes and broiled veggies.

In his defense, they are still just a plate of vegetables. ;)

May 26, 2009

No gain from caffeine?

I've been sleep deprived for the past week almost. What with the night train (in which they didn't turn off the lights), the short nights, the long drives, the long hikes and a very late return immediately followed by the start of the week, I can safely say I am tumbling towards exhaustion at an unprecedented rate. And how have I tried to combat the overpowering drowsiness through the day - yes, that cup of coffee.. or in my case, those cups of coffees. The worst part? They don't work. Sure when the warm drink cruises down your parched throat, it seems totally worth it. And at that instant you are sure that the drink will keep you awake. Not for me. I've had one tea and 2 coffees since morning and my eyes are dragging shut till now. The only thing that's keeping awake? Blogging. So, here's the second post of the day! Any tips on how to keep awake will be deeply appreciated. Suggestions may not include youtube/chatting/orkutting/FB or any other vetti mantra.

The overgrown child

First up, I'd like to thank my regulars for checking in on me to see if I was still alive considering I hadn't posted anything in 6 whole days ( a shocking reality). I was out of town and will soon follow up with at least one stunning photograph from where I was. For now, though here's some food for thought -

It suddenly struck me how typical this phrase is in a household like mine - "Ennadhaan irundhalum nee innum enaku kozhandai dhaan" - roughly translated meaning - No matter what, you are still a child to me. In the grand scheme of things with the relative aging process of everyone remaining constant, that statement holds entirely true. And unlike some Western countries where kids start calling their parents by their first names once they reach a certain age, in India we always call them the way we did when we were kids (almost always the regional language terminology for "Mother" and "Father"). This doesn't change whether we're 10, 50 or even a 100 years old. So perhaps when the elders use that in some sentimental manner, it's unnoticeably natural. However when it's used against you, your true age strikes you and it's no longer acceptable as a valid argument on the elder's behalf. For instance, one of my friends recently told me that she'd been given the "Periyava vishayathila thalai idadhey" dialogue (Translated: Do not interfere in the elder's business). Sure, when we were 10 and trying to be oversmart it made a lot of sense. Not so much when we're fully grown, completely independent, married and perhaps with a family of one's own. So what if the relative age difference remained the same? The maturity levels had perhaps meshed and the "elders" were being unreasonable in not wanting our two pence that we had to put in if it was required. This isn't to say that we don't like being pampered just the way we were from when we were kids... but just that when it comes to sharing inputs and information, experiences and views our relatively younger age should be seen as a different perspective rather than an uninformed and precocious trait, past a certain age at least. Once again this is a rather presumptious argument. My parents for instance have trusted every single decision I've made and stood by me at every stage in my life. And I have always been encouraged to express my views and opinions even if they didn't matter from a very young age. But from the other relatives' view, I wonder when it is that they truly consider us to be grown-ups. Anyone venture a theory?

May 20, 2009


This is cute if anything is! Awwwwwww...

May 19, 2009

Parisian Fashion - 101

So, you're visiting Paris, the city of lights and one of the fashion capitals of the world! Worried what to dress like? Don't fret... after living here for over a year, I have a pretty good idea of what Parisian fashion is all about. (Guys, you may want to stop reading right here because I cannot offer any tips on your dressing styles).

1. Made-up is beautiful: Practically no one, I repeat no one, from the ultra-busy medical intern to the office secretary wades into their workplace unkempt or un-madeup. Throw on the war paint, whether on the train, in the restroom or the window seat on the bus. A girl's got to do what she's got to do.
Tip 1: Over-emphasize just any one facial feature. If you're going heavy on the eyes, leave everything else subtle.
Tip 2: One to-blend-in makeup tool is your mascara brush. Coat on enough to blacken a zebra and you've got it right, Parisian ishtyle.

2. Layers: It's all about layers.. Clothes or hair, jewelry or makeup... more the better! So if you think you're gonna feel cold, instead of throwing on a rugged not-so-feminine jacket, wear a couple of layers and then a delicate pull. Want to wear a miniskirt over leggings or jeans? Go for it! That'll boost you right up there on the fashion scene.

3. Boots: Have a pair of boots? Then, wear them for crying out loud! Match 'em up with everything from dresses and skirts to skinny jeans and shorts. It's as Parisian as it gets. I bet all my money that every single Parisian woman has at least one pair of boots in her shoe cupboard. Anyone taking me up on this one? And if you don't have boots... there are only 2 other options - flats or stilettos... don't wear a mid-size heel... It has got to be either a stool or well-grounded.

4. Super-size me: Huge is in... but only in terms of accessories. Over-sized handbags, sunglasses and jewelry is totally trend-setting out here. Big baubles around your neck (by big, I mean the size of the pendant and the length of the chain), long earrings, sunglasses that cover 1/3rd your face (the upper third has the option to be covered by bangs) are all not-to-miss additions to your daily couture. They grab attention and that's what you're aiming at. Other than blending in of course..

5. Stockings: Maybe it's a winter thing.. but stockings are completely in.. And in various colors too.. not just the old boring black/skin. Whether it's a dress, a skirt or a mini, stockings are one thing that meld the dress and the shoes together. So, it's a no-brainer.

6. Brands: Ah, the ultimate tool for the blend-in experience. Sunglasses... handbags... perfumes.. clothes.. Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Valentino, Gucci and what not.. If you have something branded, flaunt it. I am not sure that every piece that everyone seems to be wearing is authentic. But to the untrained eye like mine, it makes no difference! Don't go for knock-offs though. Classic is still the best.

There you have it... a simple routine to rock the city of lights. Go Girl!

PS: I have a fashion faux pas list as well. Drop me a line if you wanna read it.

May 17, 2009

Perseverance pays

I got evidence of that recently! This was a known fact of course and our professors (mostly) keep driving it into us that if we persist with something, it's bound to pay off. As good as it sounds to hear it, it's even better when the theory comes to life and rewards you with results. That's when the sweetness of the accomplishment truly settles in and propels you to achieve harder goals. Perseverance pays... never give up (unless you don't want something as much). Then the effort's not worth it.

May 16, 2009

Spicy shahi tofu

Well, that’s just a fancy name really, for a put-together dish. My Vietnamese friend took me to an Asian grocery store last week and I left from there with a pack of tofu. With it sitting in the fridge and threatening to expire soon, I decided I didn’t want to use it in a Chinese-style dish but would rather do a Desi delicacy. And so I chose Shahi paneer and modified it suitably to achieve tangy and yummy results.
I am not going to publish a recipe here coz it’s nothing phenomenally different from any of the Shahi paneer recipes online and I can’t claim to have come up with anything. However here are some tips when working with tofu -
1. Drain: Make sure to have drained the tofu of the submerged “water''”. To ensure that you have eliminated all the liquid, keep the tofu out of the fridge on a bowl and keep some weight on it for at least 15 minutes (I kept an empty pressure cooker on the tofu slab).
2. Combat blandness: The big Indian requirement is for spice in anything. And tofu fails miserably on all accounts. The way one can eat fried paneer, one can NEVER eat fried tofu. So, here’s what to do… Instead of shallow frying the tofu in batches the way you would paneer, just add them all cut in flat slabs into a wide saucepan with a teaspoon of heated oil. While the tofu sits there getting “shallow-fried”, add salt, a bit of red chilly powder, turmeric and a hint of garam masala. The result? Super-tasty tofu, perfect for Desi recipes. Plus you save a lot of oil going into the dish and so it's healthier. It's win-win!

Shown below: (a) Fresh cut tofu pieces and (b) Spiced tofu
3. Just make the gravy then (the usual mustard seeds-jeera seeds- saunf- ginger-garlic-cloves- onion-tomato) first cooked and then ground. I like to add capsicum to the above for a richer body, colour and taste. Make sure to have one coarse batch so that the gravy isn’t too liquid.
4. Then? Put them together and voilà, there’s your spicy Tofu.
Serve with chapathis/parathas or steamed rice. Bon Appétit!

May 15, 2009

Second skin

You know how you buy something and it fits so well that you couldn't be happier? Now then, you know how that happiness just multiplies when you didn't actually buy it? I do! One of the websites on which I had shopped a few times decided to send me a surprise gift from their winter clearance... an awesome light grey sweatshirt that's dressed up like a trench-coat. I was totally impressed. Not just that they'd sent me a free gift but that they sent me such an awesome free gift. And it fits like a glove. I get that total "glow" feeling the way Harry Potter feels when he grasps his wand for the first time. I've liked my skin lesser sometimes.. ok, that's a bit exaggerated but no harm done. They sure know how to keep their customers. And what a nice way too! Yoo the hoo.

May 14, 2009

Being emoticons…

As always I was day-dreaming about something when suddenly this thought occurred to me. How life would be if we all acted out the emoticons which we liberally used online. With the Internet out there to stay, it's no big wonder that everyday newer chat portals are launched everyday, successful or not. And in the course of chatting, many people like me resort to one or many emoticons provided by these portals to express ourselves succinctly. But just imagine... if each of us out there were to act out each of these expressions whilst trying to express something. For example (yes, I agree I am utterly jobless) -

I was too lazy to mimic the other emoticons. But wouldn't that be totally scary? Someone baring their teeth everytime they wanted to express extreme joy... or bursting into tears to express extreme unhappiness or protruding their tongues to tease? You get the point. Which is why it's good to have our feet planted in this real, less-animated, saner world.

May 13, 2009

The silver lining

I’ve had the longest day.. it began with the culmination of the troubles that our cooking hot-tops had been giving us. One had failed a month ago and the other while tripping the electrical circuit periodically, gave up today and decided to trip the whole house’s electricity instead. While that was rectified with the flip of the fuse, the same cannot be said of my chai-less start to the day. And so it began. While it didn’t exactly go downhill from there, it sort of stayed at a plateau… a whole bunch of experiments underway and none of them close to completion meant it was a terribly long day. And then I decided to buy us a small table-top gas to stand-in and serve as my cooking essential. And so I found one in a seemingly nearby-to-college store. Ever notice how something light can slowly and steadily grow heavier as you take more and more steps? And it’d be of some merit if I was actually coming home with the burden. Unfortunately I had to head back to college to end my experiment. And so I lugged the stove back to school, shut my experiments off for the day, observed the current results and then headed homeward. All of a sudden, I remembered that I had to pickup a letter at the La Poste which meant I had to get off the bus a stop earlier rather than the one right in front of my house. The weather had changed steadily as if to mimic my mood. Now it was dark with heavy clouds looming and uncannily dull-lit for 7:00pm… While I mused over this, it started pouring. And not just rain… Ice rain. I’d never seen anything like it. While I scampered for cover, I couldn’t help admiring the whole scene. Everything from the loud clatter of ice on the roof below which I’d sought shelter, to the color of the sky to how pretty the city I lived in was. Suddenly I wished I had a camera. And then I remembered my cell phone’s camera. While it probably couldn’t do as much justice to the actual picture, it did a great job.. Here see (you can see the La Poste to which I was headed at the bottom of the left-side building) -


And then just as suddenly as the rain had started it stopped and the sun peeked out from behind the dense mass of clouds. And just like that, my mood brightened. Bonne soirée!

May 12, 2009


Don’t you just hate it when you’ve just passionately finished explaining something to someone and then they just calmly look at you blankly and say “Come again?” or “I’m sorry?” If the case in point was something genuine that needed a couple of shots at getting it, it can be excused. But not when the listener is distracted while he/she is actually supposed to be listening to what you have to say. More often than not, I end up snapping or I make a very obviously irritated repetition. Of course one could go into a lengthy tirade of how they never listen, blah blah.. but guess what – that takes longer! How do you deal with it?

May 11, 2009

Guilt + guilt = guilt free

Ah Mathematics! Negative x Negative = Positive. And it holds good almost everywhere (no, 2 bad deeds don’t make one good one).. But 2 bad deeds against one another may make even. It’s so the same thing in the guilt scenario. If you’re guilty of doing something against one person and they do something equally “bad” to you, then you don’t feel so bad about what you did anymore. This is often a convenient bargaining chip among friends and couples alike – the '”call it even” scenario. “Let’s not get each other any birthday presents.. Deal?” , “So what if I forgot to call.. it’s not like you did either!” are some fairly common examples.. And it works fine. In life’s complicated issues, twists and turns, (in)equalities like this make it easier to get on with and of course there are more than just this example… Math rules!

May 10, 2009

Great expectations

Ah.. seeing as it’s Mother’s Day today (Happy Mother’s Day btw), I couldn’t have chosen a more opportune moment to write about this topic – that first child. This is a topic on which I’ve had various discussions with my friends. It’s no shocker that these days, unlike the past, people aren’t popping kids the tenth month after their marriage (for the international readers, having kids out of wedlock in India is considered illegitimate and is highly frowned upon). Instead they choose to get to know their spouses in new light even if they knew them from before. They discover living together, make plans for the future, including financial stability amongst other things in preparation of bringing new life onto the Earth. But that’s typical of this generation, I would imagine. Of course, I understand that there are different reasons for children being born as well - “accidental” babies and all those not-so-flattering instances when kids are conceived for a variety of reasons other than truly wanting them – to repair a marriage, caving to parental pressure, to become the center of attention,  to spice up the marriage by adding a new dimension, to name a few. Sounds bizarre? Believe me, I’ve heard about it happen, outside of the soaps on TV. And as much as it sounds like 10 months conception time is a decent period of time to prepare for the new arrival, unless you are mentally ready, you’re probably not. These pearls of wisdom have been given to me by the newer generation. The older generation steadfastly believes in the “sooner the better” strategy. And for them, reproduction formed the core of family life. In our day and age, we seem to have added a lot more dimensions to our personal happiness and satisfaction and I know while everyone would love to have a child eventually, no one wants them right away. For one, it’s too much of added responsibility to the already being married thing. And in the past, for us Indians at least, it seemed easier said and easier done because of the large joint families and the plenty of childcare experience that ran with it. The women were largely homemakers and had plenty of guidance from the mothers and the MILs alike and in fact had hands-on assistance from other relatives and maids alike. Raising a child was a family responsibility as far as it went. And consequently the dads just had to entertain the kids when they were in good humor while the mommies got stuck with the diapers (previously just loin cloths I assume) and 3 hour feeding sessions. These days it’s an even deal and the Daddy had better pitch in for almost every responsibility to make it easier on the typically working Mommy, considering that the families lived away from homes and with visa restrictions and stuff, it wasn’t possible to have help on hand more than a couple of months at a stretch.

Everyone can agree that this is one change that is truly life-altering. It is so important to respect the fact that you are bringing in a new life to this world that is totally helpless and dependent on you for everything. While in short thinking it might seem as an excellent camouflage to get that attention from the husband/family or to stop those incessant fights amongst couples or to even stop having those unpleasant conversations with the grand old ladies who tell you they won’t live to cradle their great grandchild in their arms, it’s the most important thing to realize that the child needs to be born(e) because you want him/her, not because of anything else. Listen only to yourself.

On a different note, Happy mothering to all my expectant friends. :)

This post marks the 500th for MindBlogging! Cheers, MindBlogging!

May 7, 2009

Back off

Yup.. my back’s off.. and I have a fair clue of what I may have done to tick it off. After some internet searches it seems fairly obvious that sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst things you could do to your back. And I don’t know any other way to sleep. It’s a trait that we (me n my bro) have inherited from my dad. And the pain has set in after all these years now only because I stopped using a pillow under the raised leg. Grrr… Muscular layouts. My incredibly sweet Vietnamese colleague gave me a bunch of heat patches to help out. I will be trying them out soon. If anyone else knows of any tried and tested home remedies to ease annoying lower back pain, I’d deeply appreciate the inputs. For now, Bon Weekend (yes it’s a long weekend in France :D)

May 5, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire - The reaction review

If you're thinking that it is pretty late in the day to be reviewing the movie that took the Academy Awards by storm, you are mistaken (I already reviewed it-read it here). This is more about the mixed reactions that the movie has evoked and importantly the interpretations that have been made of these reactions. Having been in the premiere show here in Paris, I know for a fact that almost everyone, Indian or not, enjoyed it. There is no doubt that the movie was great fun. It was a total Masala flick, feel good and nothing Hollywoody about it. But soon, I read that Big B was pissed. (Read an insight article here). Surprisingly so were many of my friends. And the main issue that caught everyone's attention was the portrayal of the poverty in India.

Let's be honest here. Poverty exists at large in India. There's no denying that. But what ticked off most people was that this was exploited by Westerners to make a movie to win awards. Had the movie been made by Indians, there would've been lesser complaints, I bet. But to be totally truthful, I do not think any part of the movie was exaggerated. It was commercialized for sure.. but not exaggerated. In fact the whole poverty deal was vital to the screenplay and that's why it should be left at that. As a matter of fact, later in the movie itself, the opulence and advancement of Mumbai is shown. Perhaps because this display took a backseat to the actual script, the dissed Indians probably thought that the "Foreigners" reveled in the misery of our country, perhaps secretly thanking their stars to have been born in a richer country.

Come now, rich is a loose word, isn't it? Is there any country that can hold a torch to India's richness in culture, in colour, in diversity of religions, people, races, languages,in food, in architecture,in intelligence and what not? We have no reason to be ashamed of one segment of reality shown in some movie. Like Big B pointed out, every country has a murky underbelly lurking somewhere. With a population of over a billion, it's not surprising that India does. But that hasn't hampered the success of Indians world over in any field and we should all take pride in that. And finally take a movie to be just that - a movie. Jai Hind!

Mommy's mates

For as long as I remember, I don't recollect my mother having friends of her own and that was a shocking truth given her fantastic networking skills. Rather, all her "friends" were either related to her by marriages (her own and of her brothers, etc) or they were the wives of my dad's friends/colleagues or the moms of my friend's or my brother's. She never seemed to have a social circle of her own and it seemed very strange to me while I was in college and in the thick of friends and was in that phase where I couldn't live without sharing some news with a special few. And then I wondered how my mother could bear to lose touch with her friends. People she studied with and created allegiances with, of her own accord.

Now, after being married and sitting in a continent different from all my friends and family, it's easier to see why. All that pride and joy we took in branding one another as 'Friends for life' while slapping on the friendship bands in that immature phase, using the umpteen ears as sounding boards for the most ridiculous conversations, abusing the corporate Airtel numbers to make conference calls, slumber parties... weep fests, you name it, and we'd had it. While the Friendship has stood the test of time thus far, the same cannot be said of it's intensity. Sure, it's very easy to pick up where we left off and gab on for hours like giggly teenagers but that happens so less often that while it is special when it does, it pales in comparison to anything that we shared before. What did you expect, what with time zones, a crazy work schedule, couple time, personal time and social commitments, it's little wonder that we get to speak to our treasured friends all across the Globe. And if you take Amma's case, throw in a couple of kids and you have pandemonium. I guess the most important thing though, that contributed to my mom losing in touch with her friends was the unavailability of the technology that we have these days. With most of us having immediate access to email all the time when we are awake, we still find it hard to keep in touch. No wonder then, that back in those days when people had to use postal letters as an alternative to expensive STD/ISD cards to communicate, the urge and the frequency of these communications dwindled and ended with less than a whimper. It also goes to show how her marriage has moulded my mom's life. While it worked for her, I cannot imagine what I would do without my support circle (with whom I hope to keep in touch with for life). Kudos to Amma! (Advance Happy Mother's Day)
And Happy Birthday ML :)

May 3, 2009

Open but caged

Gloomy captives. Those are redundant words. Of course those in captivity are gloomy. This time I am not referring to people alone. We’d been to a wild life animal park near Paris yesterday. I was initially very excited. The whole experience promised to lend a safari feel to an otherwise ordinary day at the zoo. We were told we could drive along the premeditated trails in our cars and get a glimpse of the animals in “an artificially recreated natural habitat”. The main attractions were the lions and the bears. The others were pretty normal and the “collection” included giraffes, zebras, strange-looking African elephants and other herbivores with a sprinkling of hippos, rhinos and American bison. So we drove at snail’s pace and had the opportunity to pat zebras, ogle giraffes, have ostriches block our car and many a Grand Koudou gaze steadily at us in close quarters. The lion “habitat” took the longest to get to and once there, I felt inexplicably sad. There was a full pride of lions. Yet, they were all determinedly looking away from the crowds that were oohing and ahing and clicking away to glory less than 50 feet away. It was almost as if they didn’t want to be seen. The bears were more at ease though… maybe because of the dense trees around or because they had a very large number of their own. And once we took the walking trail within the zoo to gain access to more animals like cheetahs and tigers, I was more convinced that zoos like these weren’t working out, for the animals or for the perceptive public (they were great for kids catching their first glimpse of real animals outside the LCDs and HDTVs). Sure, they maybe safer here than in the wild where they’re likely to have been hunted down… but the second we saw a happy and playful gibbon skip into it’s enclosure to eat it’s piece of bread in solitude and away from the ogling eyes, I felt sure that these zoos weren’t necessarily doing the right things. I mean, imagine living in a glass enclosure, being fed time to time, with millions of animals/people/insects walking around you through all hours to look at you eat, sleep, or just sit and you’ll know what I mean. Even though they have just 5 senses, the more animals I saw, the more convinced I became that they hid themselves away in far corners, behind rocks, under shrubs and what not; simply to shield themselves from the millions of prying eyes, much like what we would’ve liked to do if put in a similar situation. It was sad really. And it was a testament to the animal intelligence. Seldom have I seen the animals at ease in these recreated habitats and there’s little wonder why. And that makes me wonder why I’ve ever enjoyed going to zoos. Something should be possible - maybe there should just be vastly spread animal sanctuaries/reserves rather than stand-alone zoos. As in every case, it’s easier said than done. Can something be done? PETA, anyone?

May 2, 2009


Finally… I mean after resisting month after month, I joined Facebook today. And this decision came after I came to read on Google News that the Whitehouse had joined facebook. Hell, if i could be part of Orkut, I could as well be part of Facebook. I mean, why not? The reasons I came up with for why not thus far are simple and pretty much the same that I think for Orkut too – waste of time. But hey, here’s a start – I get to promote this blog on one more portal. So, everyone who knows me and I haven’t added by default –search me out n add me.

May 1, 2009

Small is Big

While working with one of my wafers yesterday, I felt a very sudden, very localized shooting pain on my left index finger. On closer inspection, I didn’t notice anything particularly wrong. I touched my thumb to it and there was an agonizing surge of pain again. I was in the yellow Lithography room. I stepped out into a room with normal lights to look even closer and then I spotted it. A very small, sharp and thin piece of silicon had penetrated my glove and pierced my skin. I had to use my lab tweezers to ease out the fragment and I could feel the instant relief, accompanied by a miniscule drop of blood. And then it struck me. How such a small, seemingly insignificant piece of material could make such a difference  in my comfort level. And how there could be no relief till I was rid of it from my skin. It is ironic that this simple concept defines my career... how I work with the miniature stuff and hope that they create a disproportionately large impact. And how this analogy applies to all of us in the grand scheme of things. How small things have big impacts, be it gestures, words or incidents. How something surreally small can evoke the big emotions from us. It’s along the lines of the “Less is more” concept. This is one of life’s open secrets. And I guess it’s up to us to make at least the small efforts wherever we need the big returns. Small is big.