Monthly Archives: January 2017



उनकी चार साल की लडकी है । सदैव व्यस्त रहती है वह छोटी-सी बच्ची । कथक सीखने जाती है, तैराकी सीखने जाती है, माँ से कविता और कहानी सुनती है, खेलती है । मैंने उसकी माँ से पूछा कि इतनी रत्ती-भर की लडकी के लिए ज्यादा नहीं है ? उन्होंने कहा, “बात सीखने की नहीं है, बल्कि देखने की है । अगर उसे अति लगता, तो बंद करवा देती । मैं तो चाहती हूँ कि वह दुनिया देखे, जाने कि क्या-क्या है इस दुनिया में देखने और सीखने लायक । एक बार जब स्कूल जाने लगेगी, तो फिर कहाँ समय मिलेगा देखने, सुनने, सीखने का ।” सच ही तो कह रही थीं वह । कहने को तो शिक्षा हमें मनुष्य बनाती है, किन्तु साथ ही हमें आसपास के वातावरण से, तथा संस्कृति के सूक्ष्म तत्वों के प्रति उदासीन बना देती है । मिलता है वह ज्ञान जिसके व्यावहारिक उपयोग में संदेह है, और न जिसमें विद्यार्थी ही आनन्द प्राप्त करते हैं । मुझे याद है एक बार मुझे पढते देखकर एक फौजी ने कहा था, “भाई, कुछ समय के लिए सफेद को किनारे रखकर हरे को भी देख लिया करो ।”

photo credit: R.Mitra aka @the.photoguy (instagram) bemused! via photopin (license)

A ‘Small’ Word Leads To A Long History

11I have always wondered whether the English word ‘nano’ has its origin in the Gujarati word nanu (નાનું = small) — the similarity is indeed remarkable. To explore the idea further, I opened the Merriam Webster dictionary and found that it is not so. The English word ‘nano’ has its origin in the Greek word nanos, meaning ‘small’ or ‘dwarf’. Continue reading

A Real Hero : H. T. Sangliana


Browsing through page after page, one advertisement caught my eye : without resorting to any image or eye-catching graphics, a message was written in blue colour on white background : ‘Sangliana for President’. I scorned — “Huh, few days back, you wrote ‘Advani for Prime Minister’! Now that it is certain that Modi would be the prime-ministerial candidate from BJP, you have taken up this new campaign. King makers, eh? Now who is this Sangliana? Whoever!” And I continued with my browsing, the advertisement kept showing up with due perseverance, perhaps hoping that someday I would show mercy and pay attention to it. Finally, I gave in. I opened Google, and typed this name just out of curiosity. The result on right panel showed photograph of a man, possibly hailing from Mizoram, with a broad smile. Continue reading

Why You Should Discuss Your Research With Others

15592632483_323b67b00b_nMy laboratory is situated in an isolated corner of the institute campus. Whenever I have to stay there in night time for some work, one or the other of the security guards turns up to check if everything is fine. That routine visit starts a scientific discussion and I find myself talking to him about lidar, sunphotometer, aerosols, dust, smoke and so on. Continue reading


Translation: You can go only if you have come! Context: Actor-turned-politician Mr. Mithun Chakraborty, who had attended the upper house of parliament for only 3 days in more than two-and-a-half years, resigned from the house citing health reasons. This also brings to focus the poor attendance of several other members of parliament.

Mithun Chakraborty’s photo source : Wikimedia


Mithun quits Rajya Sabha, cites health, The Indian Express, 28 December 2016.