It’s the last day of Navraatri and Durga Puja…I am missing home like crazy as these last few days were my most favorite days of any Indian festival. So, here are a few lines expressing my feelings (it’s in Bengali but I am also writing a translation after this). Chaarte din chole gelo phurti […]
Maa aesheche shonge niye shoroter shishir baatash..
Dhaaker aawaz, aanonder jowaar, meghe bhoraa aakash..
Shiuli phooler gondho aar jhiri jhiri brishti..
Shob diche janaan je Maa aasche shiggiri…
(Missing the pujo atmosphere at home) Shubho Mahalaya all my dear friends..!!!
I believe every book you read affects you and helps you in forming your character-some more than the others. Here is the list of the books that helped me the most. Not all of them are excellently written but they were read by me at defining moments of my life and had characters which affected me the most.
- Who will cry when you die? – Robin Sharma
The only book I carry with me wherever I go. It always offers me salvation during my times of conflict. Also, it was gifted to me by my best friend during high school, Priyanka Singh (it is the only thing I have to remember her by).
- Harry Potter series- J. K. Rowling
Though I started reading the books after seeing the first two films, this book series remains my all-time favorite even after multiple reading. Harry Potter will remain my childhood hero. He has always inspired me for his ability to battle his darkness, accept his demons and rise above it and his pure love for his friends despite their fallacies. Harry, Ron and Hermione’s bond is the ultimate definition of friendship for me.
- Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
The first novel I ever read and still my favorite classic. Elizabeth showed me my own independent spirit and the book basically started my passion for reading. And Mr. Darcy remains the man-of-my-dreams.
- Angels and Demons, and Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
Dan Brown is my favorite writer and these two are actually my favorite thrillers. The way Dan Brown writes his books are a treat to my mind. I wish more people researched more like him before writing.
- Short stories by Guy de Maupassant and Saki.
I was around 10 when I read my first short stories by both Saki and Maupassant and I was so struck by Saki’s witty writing and Maupassant’s treatment of human characters that I had to read more. Maupassant’s dramatic writing revealed to me the multiple shades of human nature that I had never even thought about growing up in my sheltered life and Saki’s satirical writing just changed the way I looked upon any situation.
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin- Harriet Beecher Stowe
I don’t even remember when I first read this book. Maybe the first time I read an excerpt from the book as a chapter in my Class I/II Gen. English book. But just the memory of the story still bring me to tears. It was so touching and it infused me with the will to live and live independently without becoming slave to anything or anyone.
- Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
My love for intelligently crafted detective stories obviously started with the wickedly smart, suave genius “Sherlock” (I am sure innumerable people will agree with me here). He is everyone’s favorite detective, especially after the extremely well-acted BBC drama “Sherlock” where Benedict Cumberbatch plays the eponymous detective with a flair that just makes me go crazy with awe and Martin Freeman plays Dr. Watson with the much needed and well-deserved dignity and intelligence that Sherlock’s best friend and accomplice always deserved.
- Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
I love most of the novels written by Dickens and all of them hold a special place in my heart. I also like the wonderful adaptations that have been made of these books.
- Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
I love, love, love horses. They are so very proud and elegant creatures. I wished as a kid I was born into the previous generation of horse-drawn carriages. However, reading this novel gave me a completely different perspective to the world. Every child shoud be made to read this book just to show them how much an animal can feel.
- If Tomorrow Comes and Rage of Angels- Sidney Sheldon
Two of the earliest novels I ever read and they are on the list not because of Sidney’s thrilling style of writing (which I still am a fan of) but because they had two of my most memorable female characters who intrigued and influenced me a lot during my trying teenage years. Tracy Whitney and Jennifer Parker both had to face such extreme conditions, yet they never stopped fighting and while Whitney eventually won over her fate, Parker got the most tragic ending ever. Anyway, these women instilled in me the spirit to fight to survive against every odd.
- The Satan Bug – Alistair MacLean
I was 10-11 when I read it and this was the book that showed me the possibilities of biological research in a thrilling way. Also, it coincided with me seeing The Jurassic Park. So, I must say I owe a great deal to this book.
- Coma – Robin Cook
The first Cook’s story I ever read and I still feel it was his best though I have read almost everything else he wrote. Still gives me nightmares when I have to visit a doctor. I read his books avidly during the last two of my high school years and in their own way they showed me how commercial the medical world has become. I know it’s a silly reason but these books gave me such creeps that it helped me decide against becoming a doctor myself (though there were several other more important reasons and anyway I wanted to become a biotech researcher more).
- Chronicles of Narnia series- C. S. Lewis
Aslan! Another of my all-time favorite book and movie character. Te feeling that comes with this character is so.. complex! I love the innocence in the books, the pure morality that Aslan stands for and the sweetness that steeps from the pages. I loved almost all the books in this series though I liked the first movie the most. Makes me want to go in search of the hidden door in my wardrobe.
- The Book Thief- Markus Zusak
I love this book. This narration by death left me feeling extremely raw and vulnerable. Though I read it just a few months back, it added a new dimension in my life (I have reviewed this book in another page).
- Shiva Trilogy – Amish Tripathy
One of the few books written by modern Indian fiction writers that I truly loved. The way the writer mixed fiction with mythology left me marveled at how much I believe that the legends that our religion teaches us are more of fiction than based on truth. Shiva has been my favorite Indian God and I loved this story of his life and the main lesson the trilogy teaches us- there is both God and Devil in all of us (I have reviewed this book in another page).
- Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
A wonderful classic. Maybe, it was like a sitcom story but I love these little women to bits and pieces. AndI would love to have a girl like you someday. Jo, dear Jo..I loved how independent, undeterred, feisty, tomboyish and strong you are.
- Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple- Agatha Cristae
Another clever writer who made such memorable characters.
- The Alchemist and Veronica Decides to Die- Paolo Coelho
I love the way Coelho treats the subject matter and the way he writes. These books made me introspect my life a lot. I am a fan of his writing.
- Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
I am not a follower of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism but I respect her for giving a new dimension to philosophy. I happen to believe in several of her tenets if not all. This book was too long and too cold to become my favorite but I still liked it a lot (I have an extensive review on this book before).
- Ignited Minds and India 2020-A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Kalam’s writings ignited in me the dreams I have for my future. I haven’t done much yet but I am yet to go a long way.
- Life and Philosophy of Swami Vivekananda- G. S. Banhatti
Growing up in Bengali culture, I am bound to be influenced by Ramkrishna and Vivekananda. Though I knew about their philosophies my whole life and saw serials based on their lives, it was only recently that I actually read about them.
- The Story of My Life- Helen Keller
Another wonderful story of a person who won over the most daunting challenges in life. Remembering Keller always humbles me.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A vivid narration by Death Himself, this book chronicles the life story of a German girl (the eponymous Book Thief) during the WWII..yes, the Nazi era. Each book she steals depicts an important point in her life in her own history, an important lesson learned, a challenge overcome by her or an important person in her life. This is not a story of a revolution caused by some great name, but a simple story of a child who shakes the simple lives around her with her simple words in a tremendous way. The perspective of the story is to highlight the suffering of the poorest sections of the Nazi society through the eyes of Death with the clear focus being this child who happens to be a book thief. But this thief is remarkable- from her struggle to let go of the grim dreams seeded from her brother’s death and mother’s abandonment to her growing love for her foster parents, from her gradual victory over the words that were once her enemy to her beautiful friendship with Rudy and Max. She grows so much throughout the book and survives so much that slowly you start suffering everything with her, with Death. Whatever I write in the review cannot justify the way the narration touches you. Just go and read it, you will understand what I mean.
On an end note, Death, you are some narrator!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
CREEEEPYY!! (shudder)..not scary but chillingly creepy-both the characters as well as the way long-term relationships are portrayed. The story is about a couple-two very sick-minded persons- both narrating alternately.(Spoiler alert) The woman, Amy Elliot Dunne, is a classic sociopath-extremely manipulative, grandiose sense of self-worth, thinks whatever she does is correct (one of the cases whose moral compass changes as she deems fit!)- while the guy, Lance Nicholas Dunne, is a tremendous dickhead (for want of a more proper adjective). Both of them are hateful characters to the extreme. The main similarity between them-they both are PATHOLOGICAL LIARS! You end up feeling they both deserve each other completely and they do end up with each other. Non-poetic justice! However, Nick at least was a flawed human and though he was pathetic in every sense, I still pitied him at times. But Amy, she was purely crazy. I had the bad luck to be friends with a real sociopath recently until I realized she had every textbook symptom of Antisocial-Personality Disorder and then started distancing myself without much luck. (She still doesn’t want to let go of me as a friend even though she hates me thoroughly and has tried to harm me several times…she actually is like the younger version of Amy.) So yeah, the character of Amy really stroke a chilling chord with me. However, the creepiest part was how the book portrayed long-term relationships-the initial excitement and feeling of being the best with your loved one, the subsiding interest after sometime, growing discontent and boredom and resentment, increased half-lies, lies by omission, white lies and then manipulations, love eventually turning to hate. Yes, this was a highly unusual couple, but don’t most long-term relationships reflect most of these phases? Makes one realize just how much of Amy and Nick are there in every person. That under similar circumstances, we might also try to manipulate people, tell such pathetic lies, make such gross errors of judgement and then get stuck in such a quagmire of our own selfish mistakes, woven lies and manipulations. (SHUDDER)!!!
I am about to change my homepage so I just wanted to post the details of my previous info..….
I’m Anindita Roy. My friends usually call me Donna as my name seems to be a bit mouthful to some. I’m a B.E. Biotechnology student and presently am in the senior or final year of my college, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, India. Here’s everything there is to know about me…
I was born at Agartala, Tripura and was brought up at Silchar, Assam which is my small n simple hometown. I have a lovely family which includes the most supportive parents in the world and my charming, younger brother. I studied at Holy Child High School, Silchar till my 10th and was the school topper throughout. I studied my +2 at Ramanuj Gupta Junior College with PCMB. Doing research in biotechnology was my dream since class 11. It materialized when I got the opportunity to study at BIT, Mesra, India’s premier engineering college, after clearing AIEEE. I took my engineering major in biotechnology which is quite an unconventional major. Here, I made some really superb friends, participated in a variety of activities, had loads of fun n masti n also studied a bit. I have been involved in several research projects since the start of my my 2nd year and have done two summer internships.
I am very much interested in biochemical research and hope to study more in my field and be a brilliant researcher someday. I am a complete book-worm, in fact, I’m also an ebook-worm (I just need something readable, though I always prefer quality over quantity). You can go through my reading list which mainly consists of suspense, thrillers, fantasy and romances, and maybe some course books. I love listening to music and have ears for a really wide variety. I’ll add my playlist later on. I am passionate about dancing, painting and since recently, writing. I also like making handicrafts. I love hanging out with my best friends (who doesn’t). (I’ll add more things later).
This blog is mainly about me and the topics that interests me in life. Go through them if you like to…
With love and cheer,
Anindita (aka Donna)
The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have been itching to buy and read this book since many months, however due to one problem or other, I couldn’t do it. Finally I bought this book at New Delhi railway Station while returning from my trip.From the very start, […]
Till The Last Breath by Durjoy Datta My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was the first book I read of this author. Seeing the titles of his other books, I was reluctant to buy n read it as I am wary of Indian college romantic tales. However, I had no option left as I […]
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Presented Paper in the Plant Science Section of the 100th Indian Science Congress held at Kolkata from 3-7 Jan, 2013.
Efficient Genetic Transformation System for Lathyrus sativus (Grasspea): Agrobacterium-Mediated Transformation
Lathyrus sativus or Grass pea is the poor man’s pulse but it is banned in many places owing to its causing Neurolathyrism-a paralytic disease- on prolonged intake. Genetic Transformation aims to remove this major drawback of this otherwise high potential plant. I did this project in University of Calcutta as a recipient of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship(SURF)-2011 of Indian Academy of Sciences (IASc), India, under the guidance of Dr. Karabi Datta. The following is the abstract of my work and some photographs of my work. The work and photographs are copyrights of Anindita Roy. To use them, cite my name and source or contact me at email@example.com .
Lathyrus sativus or commonly called grass pea is a leguminous crop plant cultivated extensively in various parts of the world especially the food-deficit countries due to its qualities of being a very cheap source of diet protein and fodder plant along with its excellent N2-fixation properties and high resistance to agricultural stresses like floods, drought, salinity, low soil fertility, and pathogen-infestation of soil. In spite of its many advantages, Lathyrus has not been exploited to its full potential due to the presence of a neurotoxic amino acid β-N-oxalyl-l-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (β-ODAP) in the grain protein that causes neurolathyrism in humans on prolonged consumption. This long-ignored controversial legume with its long list of advantages and some removable disadvantages has, in recent times, drawn attention to itself as a subject for genetic transformation and breeding experiments. Various theories have been proposed to input detoxification causing genes into the plant genome as well as to boost expression of essential amino acids. However, first of all, a standardized transformation method has to be prepared before desired genetic manipulation. The Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA 4404 containing the plasmid pCAMBIA 1301 with a hygromycin phosphotransferase II gene (hptII), a neomycin phosphotransferase II gene (nptII) and the β-glucouronidase (gus) gene was studied as vector system to genetically transform the explants obtained from the seed PRATEEK. The best transformation rate was obtained for an OD600 of nearly 0.6 of the final infiltration media made from the Agrobacterium culture grown in LB media with rifampicin and kanamycin. Four kinds of explants were used for the experiment- (i)leaf and (ii)internode explants were obtained from the Lathyrus sativus plants grown in test tubes containing seed germination (MSO) media under sterile conditions and (iii)epicotyl and (iv)cotyledonary node (CN) explants obtained from the germinating seeds grown in petriplates containing germination media. Different concentrations of different growth regulators (IAA, NAA, BAP) were added to different sets of pre-cultivation media, co-cultivation media, selection media and regeneration media used for the explants in order to find a standard media composition. Also, different concentrations of hygromycin were used in the SM and the RM. The internode explants and CN explants showed better survival in SM and regeneration/callusing in RM and also gave positive results to GUS histochemical assay.
Lathyrus sativus (grasspea), internode explants, epicotyl explants, cotyledonary node explants, Agrobacterium tumefaciens
β-ODAP β-N-oxalyl-l-α,β-diaminopropionic acid
hpt II Hygromycin phosphotransferase II
IAA Indole-3-acetic acid
LB Luria Bertani
Submitted Thesis and Presented Work as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)-2011 awarded under the Combined Support of IASc, INSa and NASI. Worked in the Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Lab of Dept. of Botany, University of Calcutta, India, under the guidance of Dr. Karabi Datta.
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This is the first time I read Ayn Rand. She might be a philosopher, but this book feels like the love-child of a fantasy and philosophy, if it there ever was one. Yeah, I liked her view of the world and her philosophy of objectivity, but then I liked Harry Potter which seemed to have more sense than this novel. I didn’t mean to compare them, sorry. But, Ayn’s view of a world where the productive geniuses are the Atlases of the world-the dethroned superkings, fighting to get back their claim by striking against the world…seems…well..illogical. I agree with the protagonist, Dagny Taggart. Even I would not have given up my struggle till the last moment even if the ones benefiting were my enemies, at least she showed some human characteristic and that’s the main reason I still liked her even though she was a completely wooden character. The main fallacy of the book is that it considered just super-humans like Dagny, Rearden, Galt, Franscisco, Danneskjold, etc.(who were geniuses, had superhuman strength to bear every torture, hardship, needing no sleep,..) and inhuman creatures like James, Mouch, Morrison, Scudder, etc. (who just wanted to destroy life as they themselves weren’t worthy of it). Humans were either missing from the novel or if there like Eddie Willers, Cherryl Brooks, etc. were in few numbers and having the least power over their destiny. So, the setting of the novel was completely unrealistic. I agree that productive geniuses exist, and even the inhuman populace is really strong in both power and number. But, humans still make up the population. Ayn’s fantasy world was bound to collapse as she had set it so. Moreover, there are may more problems in this world than production woes. I am an engineer myself wishing to be an industrialist someday, but even I know such a world ain’t possible.
But apart from the unrealistic approach of the book, I liked several points of her philosophy of life.
1) Her superhuman characters might be wooden n just speak philosophy if they ever spoke..but they seem kind of the heroes one ought to be inspired from in these times. We should learn to understand and accept one’s originality and individualism. At least, from now on I am tired and don’t feel like facing the struggle any more, I can say that if Dagny could do that, I could as well (I don’t wish to be like her but nevertheless she inspires me with her strength and will to survive).
2) Love is basically the unification of one’s mind and values. I realized that even I believed it but never really accepted it.
3)Selfishness is the driving power of this world. Yeah, I agree. Being selfless is the worst kind of selfishness there can be. No one should have to bear the pain of being dependents and living on the pity of someone else. I would die before I get to that position. In a society, everyone is dependent on each other but every person has to do some work to bear the bargain of survival. A person who does no work, has no right to survive. But, again, I have a question-what about handicapped people, old men, who actually cannot work even if they wanted to? Maybe, they could do something else, productive in some other sense. Ayn just missed out them..
I think, the main error Ayn Rand made was to give a classification to the race of men when actually there is too much randomness and uniqueness in them. In real world, there can never exist four characters like Galt, Francisco, Rearden and Dagny who are so much alike and value and despise the same things-its against probability and variance…:(
Though the book was really too long, I liked it as a fantasy story, as it taught me to remember some very important points and not to loose heart when faced by insurmountable stupidity. I tend to discard things which I don’t like and treasure the good things. Thus, the book was like a tarnished jewel for me…so, four stars..:):)
There it goes, there I see,
What I wished for, what I aimed to be,
I gave my best, I faced the worst,
Obstacles; yeah, its not always just.
But I went on and on, till the end,
Until I reached my desired bend
In my path, my route to glory.
Yeah, its still an incomplete story.
I start again after some rest,
To be better than my best,
To reach another bend, face another challenge.
It may seem as strange to some,
But this is my life, its beauty lies
In the way I live it; I won’t die
With the regret of not trying, not doing
Something I wanted, by hiding
From the unknown, from the darkness,
Afraid of my fears. No, I’ll live as
Who I really am, who I am meant to be,
I am just me, just me…
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hmm..I read it while killing time waiting for my flight and then on my flight(Coincidentally the story starts in airport). Easy read though childish way of writing. But well, that’s what made me give it 3 stars. The story was simple and easy to relate..best friends vs lovers vs best friends as lovers (well, my best friend turned my boyfriend and is now my ex-bf yet my best friend…so yeah man, I could easily relate). The author used his colloquial lingo of school-where everyone tries to play smartass-to describe the bumpy ride of life of two different teenagers with different lives but similar problems. It sweetly shows the great feeling of camaraderie and trust between best friends, the joys and vulnerability of first love, the feeling that one can conquer anything for the one person, the tug of war between attraction and emotion, the dawning of the realization that whatever happens you do love your best friend, final decision to choose which love is greater and who you cannot absolutely live without. The book left the decision to the reader. Well, for me true friendship is much more important than a relationship..as true love may be rare but true friends, my dear, are rarer still, especially in today’s cutthroat world. I will, however, always want my love to be a really good friend first. But then, every situation is different, right?
Universal Healthcare: Dream or Reality? Are the government’s promises of cheaper and better health care possible in a country still plagued by the pangs of hunger, lack of space and infestation of corruption?
Read more: http://socyberty.com/politics/india-towards-universal-health-care/#ixzz259rRNEgV