Let’s Talk

An important read for everyone.


EDITOR’S NOTE: We often think of the sciences as objective and unemotional fields, but the stress and uncertainty of being in research means that mental health issues are common. More than 40% of postgraduate researchers face some form of depression or stress-related problem, as do many students. If you or someone you know needs advice, help, or simply an ear to listen to, please contact these numbers in India.


by Srishti Batra – How many people do you know around yourself who are battling mental health issues – be it anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), delusions or even depression. I, at least, know a handful of these brave people who are fighting every day to lead a happy life. These people are not weak; they are full of ambitions and brave hearts who are trying to fight these inner monsters of mental health to lead a successful and happy…

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City of Ruins – Hampi

Hampi is an ancient village in Karnataka, about 380km north of Bengaluru. This use to be the capital of one of the prominent Hindu empire of Vijayanagara from 14th to 16th Century. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing and probably India’s richest at that time. Hampi city used to be one major attraction for travelers between 14-16th century as reflected by text and literature of Hampi. The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of Muslim sultanates in the battle of Talikota in January 1565. After the defeat, Muslims destroyed temples and other monuments leaving the city in in ruins, which is the major attraction for tourism. Group of monuments at Hampi are now in the list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.

Hampi is situated at the banks of River Tungabhadra, which divides the region in two halves, the southern one being the main tourist attraction having most of the Hampi monuments and at the north of river exists other small ancient villages and other monuments. Hampi is set in rocky terrain with huge boulders all around and beautiful Tungabhadra River.

We recently went on an extended weekend trip to this beautiful place, which is full of mystic charm, and you feel as if you are travelling back in time. The architecture excellence and way ahead of time.  Dravidian style temples and musical pillars in temples are both beautiful and majestic. Two of my favorite were 4.6 meters tall Ganesha idol and 6.7 meters tall Narsimha statue, which are carved out of a single rock.

This group of monuments consist of many beautiful temples and places like Kings’ balance, a Queen’s bath and palaces, but the King’s Palace is not there to be recognized. The King’s palace was most in the ruins and probably the one, which was, damaged the most after the battle of Talikota

Visiting this city gave me a vibes that things do not remain forever, but legacy stays. There is beauty even in ruins

Sharing postcards from Hampi

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Where do I belong?

Recently we have been having many discussions in lab on if people should be expected, asked, or enforced to learn a language. Over here I am sharing my personal thoughts on the same.

Just to give a little background about India, We are 29 states and 7 union territories; every place has different language, lifestyle, economics, culture, rituals and food; and the only thing unifying all of us is our diversity, which is our pride too. We portray ourselves as very tolerant of each other’s cultures, lifestyles etc. and respect the way a person is. Recently I have been having second thoughts about are we tolerant and accepting of other people’s choices? I know we are much better than most of other geographies, but within ourselves exist many differences.

Bangalore has been a metro city for quite some time now especially after the IT boom and is still going forward in term of its diversity. People from various cultures throughout the country come here for good weather, work and education. In addition, a survey came up with figures that more than 50 % of Bangalore’s population is migrant. In a scenario like that, where more than 50 % of population is migrant and non-Kannada speaker and the remaining native population is native kannada speaking, how should one communicate with each other. A pro right wing of native population has been resilient that Hindi is forced upon them historically and hence refuse to use that; they expect migrants to learn kannada to become a part of them. Another bunch of native population is very accepting and not so conservative of language and hence migrants find it easy to communicate with them, this bunch might not necessarily be Hindi speaking. It is just the ideologies that differ. Migrant population might not necessary be Hindi speaking, they can be speaking tamil, malyalam , telugu, English or any other language; then why such partiality with Hindi speakers. I understand that there has been a long history of Hindi imposition in this state and associated anger with it. However, it has been some decades now, people should leave the anger behind and see in present. I am a Hindi speaker who has been living in Bangalore for 3-4 years, my workplace requires me to know English and I don’t us much of Kannada. I can understand little bit of kannada and can speak small phrases or some words from it. My work and home does not use this language and hence I do not use it often, but this does not mean I do not want to communicate with people. I have noticed people being rude and refusing to talk to me, just because I do not know enough kannada, while these people know English. In case of Bangalore, where more than 50% population is migrant I do not see why to enforce Kannada on migrants, if they need or want, they will learn. Similarly, migrants should not force others to learn Hindi.

I feel communication is possible even without knowing each other’s language if an effort is made and if we have respect for each other. It is fun and useful to know more languages, but that does not mean you enforce it on someone. Its personal choice whether one wishes and can learn a new language as it is not easy for everyone to learn a new language. Another important thing, not knowing a language should not mean rude behavior and non-communication. India is huge and we all belong here, so we should try not have these boundaries and have mutual respect for each other.

Ethics in Science


by Srishti Batra – By the dictionary definition, ethics is “moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity”. From a young age, we are taught importance of ethics and morals in our life for better living and the general good of society. We are taught not cheat others, but we all know that cheaters do exist in population.

On a professional front, it is very important to insure that organizations, institutes, and businesses follow ethical policies that have a wider effect on society. Science is no different, and we need to understand that we should not cheat. Scientific ethics demands honesty and transparency at all stages from data collection, from data reporting, publishing to communicating science. A discovery or innovation forms the basis for several other research projects. Therefore, if something incorrect is put into the literature, it will have adverse effects years later. Fraudulent…

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Lab picture – 2018

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Lab Picture- 2018

A fun day when we clicked lab picture under Banyan Tree.
Standing from L-R: Ananya Kundu, Aditi Mishra, Geetha GT, Hinal Kharva, Padmapriya Iyer, Katie Sottilare, Anupreksha Jain, Abhinav Raina, Srishti Batra, Shannon Olsson (PI), Santosh Rajus, Tahir Ganzafar, In Tree L-R: Veto Kheosh, Srinivas Rao, Pavan Kaushik, Saptarshi Soham Mohanta, Jeetsagar Ghorai

Summer is vacation time

Here comes the summer time and a reason to go on a vacation. This June, we went on a long family vacation to Ireland. It is a small and beautiful island country in northern Atlantic Ocean. Area wise it is much bigger than Delhi (maybe twice or thrice the size), but population wise it is half the size of Delhi, so you see less people around you. Summers are pleasant in Ireland and hence a good escape from Delhi heat. We were staying in Dublin and going around most of the southern Ireland, which has many beautiful beaches and scenic view of Wicklow Mountains, which forms the largest upland area in country.

We found Dublin to be very peaceful city with plenty of options for recreation, good coffee and Guinness. Liffey river separates the southern and northern half of Dublin, with southern part being the major places of attraction. City centre has Dublin castle, museums, shopping area, nice restaurants, pubs and cafes with most famous being the Temple Bar, which is the oldest pub in Dublin. We did several road trips around the Dublin city. We visited wicklow, which is famous for beautiful lakes in between mountain ranges; the views of lakes are spectacular and mesmerizing. On our way back, we had a quick stop in bray from where you can witness the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy its beauty. One will get to see beautiful Atlantic Ocean from any coast of Ireland, so we visited some more cities like Malahide, Dunlaoghaire, Bray etc., which have beautiful beaches to enjoy sunsets and ocean. Country also have a lot of cultural and historical tourist attraction like museums and castles. We visited Kilkenny that is famous for castle and its own brew of beer, enjoyed both thoroughly.

Overall, this vacation was very relaxing and fun filled time with family. Sharing few pictures of same.