Thursday, November 13, 2008

I care, I share

Shared joy is double the joy.
Shared sorrow is half the sorrow.

Don't explain.
Your friends don't need any explanation.
Others won't believe any.


First one helps one keep going.
Second one helps in coping with oneself not being able to attend some of the socials of near and dear ones.

A public holiday today. Till 11 am household work. Then to office. The solitude helps. Had a discussion with research scholar - non-Gaussian to Gaussian distribution and then with a UG student having poor academic record - our role as faculty member, where we are failing, his point of view. It went till 12 noon.

Then some work on manuscript writing. It is 1:45 pm now. To break for lunch. To go home.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


"When did you last check your blood pressure?", asked the physician.
"Two years back." I replied.
"How much was the reading? What were you advised?"
"It was on the higher side 130/90 and I was advised to take morning walk, trim weight." I said sheepishly.
- "Did you follow the advice?"
- "No......err...I don't get time..."
- "It is 140/100 now. You are advised to follow those advices seriously and report to me after one month."
I said that I would. I believe I said that 2 years back too.
- "You are all achievers. You have achieved many things and will achieve more. You know how to achieve. If you want you can take care of your health too." The physician's voice stood firm.

The fact that my father died at the age of 56 due to kidney failure which had its origin in high blood pressure and my elder sister now is surviving on one transplanted kidney (done at the age of 34) do not make the situation look better.

So I should better be cautious. If not for myself, but for the family - the daughter who is only six years old. (Yesterday was her birthday. It was 7:15 pm. I was still in the office. The telephone rang. An appeal from a kid who is waiting for her father to return from office so that she can cut the birthday cake in a small get-together!)

Is that possible?

In replying to an additional load being given to me by Head of a prestigious lab here at IITkgp I was looking at my activity schedule for next one month

Nov. 18-21, TENC.., Hyderabad,
Nov 26 onwards : NSS Camp, ( )
Dec. 05 onwards : Hosting foreign collaborator and working together, arranging training for students
Dec. 10-14 : India Tele... 2008, New Delhi
Sometime in Dec. (not announced yet) : NR... meeting, 2 days, Delhi
Book Manuscript deadline : Dec. for one part, ...
PhD thesis chapter review : Thesis submission Jan. 15, Only one ch. done so far
PhD thesis work validation : Thesis writing to commence after that
Project deliverable deadline : Dec 2008
Socials : Marriage functions - five (four in Kolkata, one here in KGP - three are ex-students and close confide, two from family. One is my 1st PhD student. It will be difficult to say NO, in fact to everyone in varying degree.) First Rice Ceremony - two (one family, one ex-students couple : both in Kolkata) Birthday Party for my own daughter in one of the next two weekends.

The above is besides end-sem, other regular activities like different committee meetings, paper review (2 papers before Nov. 15 NCC 2009), paper submission, purging of students for various reasons etc. and last but not the least family responsibilities. There is no space even in weekends, evenings ... For days I had 4-5 hours sleep to meet deadlines.

And the period Dec. 08 to Dec. 31 is supposed to be our vacation.

Is it madness?

People in the work place who are giving me jobs are not ready accept a 'No' for themselves, cites how much work they are doing on their own etc..
It gives me lot of stress to say 'No' to somebody. I believe that it is less stressful to do the work than to say 'No'. That way the work piles up.
Family members say that I am overdoing things and they are OK if I cut down things and that affects my career. They haven't any complain about my non-academic interest. Probably that helps in de-stressing.

Prof. Sw...., my neighbour says that I am too serious and sincere about every job given to me. That causes strains. (I was told right from my childhood - Remember, whatever you do is important.)
Prof. PK.... asks me to cut down jobs and take care.
Prof. PPKan..., my PhD supervisor, mentor for years warned me of health a number of times, asked to practise Yoga for which I didn't have any time.
Family members are always worried.

I wonder how. How can I finish my job within 9 am - 6 pm slot and inculcate healthy habits? The meeting itself often starts at 5:30 pm like the one to be held today at VG... for final drafting of curri.... of a new school being established at IITkgp. Telecon. with US firm interested in our research starts at 10 pm and continues up to 11 pm. And there are need to travel (present our work for IIT, get fund for projects etc.) and meet different deadlines.

Last night went to bed at 11 pm. Today woke up at 5:30 am. Had driving lesson from 6 am till 7 am. Dropped daughter at school at 7:30 am. Went for 45 minute morning walk at 8:00 am. Started office work at 9:00 am by replying to a PhD scholar's query, one hour lecture class etc. It is lunch time now. Shall pick up daughter from school on way back home for lunch.
A good beginning indeed!

Endnote : While learning driving there wasn't much of a confusion for the leftmost foot pedal i.e. 'Clutch' as it was dedicated to the left foot. The right foot has to take care of other two pedals 'Brake' and 'Acceleration'. I must say that often I pressed 'Acceleration' when I was supposed to press 'Brake' :-)

Rejoinder (1) : Returning from lunch, within a hour of this posting, I find two messages worrying about my health. One from Hyderabad, my ex-student, the other from a IIT Guwahati faculty, my friend. Also a research scholar from Maharashtra rang few minutes back to discuss some technical matter. He finished saying that he likes my blog specially the posts on Vivekananda. Thanks everybody. Don't worry. I'll take care of myself. Above 40, everybody develops one health problem or the other. Nothing special. Compared to many, I am more fit. But there is no room for complacency. I'll be careful. Thanks once again.
(2) : The meeting started one hour early at 4:30 pm and continued till 7:30 pm. Another meeting is required on Friday 11:30 am after a 8:30-10:30 double lecture and 10:30 to 11:30 another meeting. The MT.. student whose presentation was scheduled at 4:30 pm may not be happy, I feel bad about it. It is rescheduled on Friday afternoon. Leaving office for home now at 7:45 pm. Need to improve!
(3) : Another social invitation in Dec. has just arrived! The moment of truth for one of my colleague. The function will be held in Kolkata.