October 2013

Science: Data from NASA's Curiosity rover has revealed the Martian environment lacks methane. This is a surprise to researchers because previous data reported by US and international scientists indicated positive detections. Read more ....

If you got beat up by a bully on your walk home from school every day, you would probably become very afraid of the spot where you usually met him. However, if the bully moved out of town, you would gradually cease to fear that area. Read more ....

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory and telescopes on the ground may have found the most crowded galaxy in our part of the universe. Read more .....

Many viruses and bacteria infect humans through mucosal surfaces, such as those in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive tract. To help fight these pathogens, scientists are working on vaccines that can establish a front line of defense at mucosal surfaces. Read more ....

Is your cable television on the fritz? One explanation, scientists suspect, may be the weather - the weather in space, that is. Read more ....

A study by University of Georgia ecologists has found that diversity in mammal immune system genes may have more to do with the opportunity to choose a mate than with exposure to parasites. Read more ....

Humour: Locked out of your own house can be an alarming eperience, especially if you are new to the neighbourhood where neighbours are yet to make your acquaintance. I should know because I have gone through that embarrassing situation. Read more ....


"When elder brother's friend Shashisekhar passed out of the medical college, he became our family doctor. I had seen him before on many occasions by peeping out of the curtains. My elder brother was a strange person - he could not view the world properly. He always tried to take shelter in the corners."

"Shashisekhar was one of his friends. So I often saw Shashisekhar, and in the evening when I sat in the garden I imagined that all the male persons had taken the form of Shashisekhar and surrendered at my feet. Are you listening? How do you find the story?"

I answered, "I feel it would have been better had I been born as Shashisekhar."

"Listen to the whole story."

"One cloudy day, I developed fever. The doctor was called - that was the first time that we came face-to-face. I was gazing out of the window so that the reddish hue of the setting sun would camouflage the ugly tell-tale signs of illness from my face. The Doctor looked at my face upon entering the room; I imagined that I was the doctor and looked at my own face - a flower resting on a soft pillow and the eyebrows over the large eyes casting a shadow on the forehead in shyness."

"Doctor told brother in a gentle voice, 'I will have to feel the pulse'."

"I extended a weary hand. I looked at the hand; if only I had been wearing blue glass bangles, it would have looked good. I had never before seen a doctor hesitating so much while feeling a patient's pulse. He felt my pulse with uneasy fingers and gauged the extent of my fever; I, too, gauged the internal turmoil that he was going through. Don't you believe me?"

I told the apparition that there was no reason to disbelieve. "A human being's pulse does not beat at the same rate under all circumstances."

"As days progressed, I again fell sick once or twice and saw that the countless admirers who crowded for my attention in my imagination had reduced, and only one admirer remained. My own world had become desolate and only two persons remained - a doctor and his patient."

"Every evening I secretly removed myself to the garden wearing an orange-coloured sari and with my hair well combed and adorned with a garland of flowers. I carried a mirror and sat in the garden looking at my reflection."

"Why! Don't you feel tired of looking at your own reflection! You really don't. As a matter of fact, while looking at the mirror I would no longer be myself. Sitting alone in the garden I would be transformed into two persons - I would become the doctor who gazed at me in the mirror. But from deep inside me, a deep sigh would rise like the evening breeze."

"I was never alone since then. While walking I would observe how my feet touched the ground and pondered whether my gait would be appealing to the doctor. In the afternoons the sun would beat down harshly outside the window, and there would be no sound excepting for the scream of an occasional eagle that flew high up in the sky, and the call of a hawker who went around peddling his wares. I would spread a clean and white bed-cover and lie down while imagining that someone had lifted my two hands, kissed them and was quietly departing. Well, if I end my story here, how would it be?"

"It will not be bad," I replied. "Of course, the story will remain unfinished; but I could try to spend the rest of the night trying to think up a befitting conclusion."

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Some useful links for
your career:

  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
  • IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
  • IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu