Hi there, united we stand! Im super happy that my voice will also be Ou”R”Voice :) — R Voice

Hi there, united we stand! Im super happy that my voice will also be Ou”R”Voice :)

Glad to introduce myself as a part of this effervescent initiative. I've spent 13 years of my life in partnership with Genetics (one year short of vanvaas), a huge fan of it I must say, rightly so because that’s one subject you can apply to your pedigree and traits to initiate self development. Thats a blessing this domain has given me.

 And then, three years back, all of a sudden, I had this inspiration and a long drawn thought process that lasted 6 months, discussions with friends and family that made me extend my hand of friendship towards biochemistry. This paved way to my doctoral journey which I initiated and am currently pursuing at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad. 

Gardening, travelling, philosophy in science and teaching are my core interests that give me a lot of inner peace and make feel alive! Understanding the purpose of life and the mystics involved in daily events keeps intriguing me very often. 

The life and ideals of Stephen Hawking and Swami Vivekananda alike, keeps the fire burning in me on the days I am depressed. And, I wouldn't do any justice to myself if I did not mention that I’m a true blue Hyderabadi. Saying this gives me a sense of pride with which I would love to introduce this city to my colleagues here as THE safest place for women in India, so cheers to that!

Phew! Thats a lot of intro and honestly, the happiness of socialising here on this platform motivated me to essay this :D

Looking forward to participating in diverse ideas and implement them to light up the lives of researchers around us :)

Comments

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    Hi @Gayatri Ramachandran. Welcome to the R Voice Community. It's great to have you here and what an entrance btw! I love that punny title 😃

    Thank you for such a rich introduction. I love how you've explained your journey from the field of genetics to biochemistry. R Voicers, we have a writer amongst us! How has life as a PhD student been so far? I'd love to hear more as your doctoral journey progresses.

    After seeing your core interests, especially gardening and travelling, I can assure you that you'll find a lot of like-minded friends here on R Voice ☺️

    If it isn't clear already, I'm thrilled and very excited that you're here and can't wait for you to start jumping in on discussions. Looking forward to seeing more of you!

  • chris leonard
    chris leonard Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 156 admin

    Hi @Gayatri Ramachandran - nice to see you here. I'd love to chat about the Philosophy of Science with you sometime. It's something that has been occupying my thoughts quite intensively for the last few months. But for now, welcome. Make yourself at home!

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 251 admin

    Welcome to the community @Gayatri Ramachandran! Loved reading your intro - felt like I was actually chatting with you over a cup of chai (or coffee, if the Hyderabadi in you prefers that 😁). I share quite a few interests with you - I love travelling and teaching - I was a teacher for the first 7 years of my career. I have also recently developed a love for gardening ( though my garden at the moment is just a little plant corner in my balcony 😅).

    Being a Bengali, I grew up revering the life and Ideals of Swami Vivekananda. Fun fact - my childhood home was actually very close to Swamiji's house - I would pass that large red house on my way back from school every afternoon, wondering about the stories of his childhood that I had read and heard. I'm feeling strangely nostalgic even as I write this...thank you for stirring up those childhood memories 😊

    I really look forward to having some more interesting conversations with you!

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    @Andrea Hayward Thank you Andrea for the booster message! I'm glad you're glad ☺️ Indeed I'm really really eager to participate in discussions where I feel my experiences through my doctoral journey(s) would add value to enhancing insights on those topics. In case you missed it, I mentioned "journey(s)" since that is the core reason why I had been a part of your mental health survey held in 2020 (also circulated it amongst our university fraternity) and why I am also onboard here.

    That story shall unfold as I discuss my experiences contextually on various discussions further (holding it as a suspense😉 for now).

    And yes I did observe the likemindedness in hobbies such as gardening and travelling, going through everyone's intros on "meet n greet". And it is only natural that mother nature alone can heal a distressed mind. Probably that is why many researchers delve into hobbies that involve her healing powers. As I have understood- "The impregnable human mind and intellect opens up to similar thoughts on a cosmic level, mother nature being the tool to effect this exchange of thought processes".

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    @chris leonard Thank you Chris! Thats great, I am definitely more than happy to share and exchange thoughts about philosophy in science.

    It makes one understand the essence of what and why we are doing so many things and gives a feeling of satisfaction that we are not just looking at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to research. The introspection on the purpose of our life is something a scientist can gift himself/herself, owing to our natural inclination to analytical and logical thought processes.

    If we can start a discussion or a group on this it would be exciting to know and grow in this domain- a forte that has received little attention amongst researchers.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Its Hyderabadi Chai! (not coffee), specifically Irani Chai @Kakoli Majumder. Lovely! that you and I share the same respect for Swamiji's ideology and even happier that I made you travel down memory lane momentarily (Reminded of John Denver's "Country road, take me home" song in this context 😍)

    Excellent! that 2 teachers have met and greeted so soon on this platform. That is one definite reason why we will have more conversations on the importance of guidance and mentorship, yayy. Looking forward to it!

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    @Gayatri Ramachandran so happy to learn that you've participated in the CACTUS Mental Health Survey! It's made me feel like our paths have crossed much earlier than we realize :)

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    Hi @Gayatri Ramachandran ! It was so lovely to meet you today! Your fields of interest are simply absolutely astonishing. Wow. It is amazing how you made that twist in your career and with such rich interests, I can only say that you are thriving! 🌸

    I truly look forward to communicating with you on here!

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Hello @Vivien Kretz Same here, it was absolutely nice to meet you too! Thanks much for the kind appreciation😊. Somehow you give that vibe of a gentle person, like a "soft, caressing breeze", which is a rarity, at least amongst my circle of researchers. I mean, I have met more of researchers who are those energy exuding. "ball of energy and fun" types like @Karen Hall and @Omololu FAGBADEBO who were all smiles, their souls exuberant with that happiness and energy that I enjoyed thoroughly :D.

    I must say its equally soothing to converse with those kind, gentle yet lively and mature souls as you ☺️. I also see that you have your own blog on self care and mental health which in itself is a testimony of a soul that empathises and cares about mankind. Keep up that spirit and love and definitely will be looking forward to meeting you on more such R voice video conversations. Good luck with all your endeavours!

    Thanks much to the CoCo conversation yesterday @Kakoli Majumder @Jayashree Rajagopalan, was more than happy to chat with you both🤗 Let this ball keep rolling on!

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    Wow @Gayatri Ramachandran, I feel truly flattered. I haven't received such a nice compliment in a long long time. 🌸

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    @Gayatri Ramachandran @Vivien Kretz it seems like I missed a very exciting CoCo Time 😔 And also the opportunity to meet you both. Will try and make it to the next one for sure!

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Definitely @Andrea Hayward, we shall meet and greet next time😊. Me too, I did hope to meet you last time.

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 262 admin

    Hi @Gayatri Ramachandran - Officially welcoming you to R Voice today. LOVED the play on words with ouR Voice because that's what we always want this community to be. Your journey sounds like a soul searching (ad)venture and I can only wish you more fulfilling quests like these to help you reach where you want to be. I LOVE how thought-provoking Hawking's writing can be. I sometimes find myself feeling quite confused about what I thought about first 😀 It's amazing that you have such a supportive network of family and friends who've helped you make decisions that are close to your heart. I am really looking forward to hearing a lot more from you here on R Voice. I feel like I've known you for a while but I am getting to know more about you now, thanks to this forum. Thank you for making it to the CoCo session - we did have quite a few laughs didn't we?

  • Soumi Paul
    Soumi Paul Member Posts: 162 ✭✭✭✭

    @Gayatri Ramachandran, I love the caption at first glance, I must say. Welcome to the Ou'R Voicer.'😊

    Communication is the key to thriving! 😊

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Hello @Jayashree Rajagopalan. Your appreciation is indeed motivating! Thank you! Like you said, I do not think I would have been here if you hadn't kept reminding me in every mail in the last one year about joining R Voice😂. And am I not glad I did, coz now I understand what I would have missed if not for your cons(is)ta(/e)nt reminders. Would love to keep meeting you often on more of your discussions and I am very eager to now meet you in person when you come to Hyderabad 🤗

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Hi @Soumi Paul. Nice to meet you on Ou"R" platform! And thank you for the kind appreciation😊. I do see that you are also a "green" enthusiast (just like me- though I didn't mention that in my intro). Really glad that I have found someone on the same page as me in "converting unconscious urban lifestyle into a sustainable one"!!

    On an individual/family level, I have started applying few sustainable measures to some of my day to day activities, since few years now- 1. Carrying 4-5 polythene covers of all sizes in my 2 wheeler trunk so I can purchase anything and everything of essentials on my way to or from work, guilt free. Most important here, I replenish the covers immediately in my trunk as I use them (I ain't want no guilt in this matter, definitely ) 2. Wash and dry the pasteurised milk sachets immediately, every morning, collect them and give it to the nearest recycling paperwaala once in 4 months, instead of letting them fill in dumpyards. 3. Segregate wet and dry waste (wet waste is the best food for my plants, I need their blessings to progress in life and this I'm sure many of us must be following-lots of garden lovers here, so:)). 4. During summers, considering the intense dry heat that goes upto 45C in Hyderabad, tender coconut water is my saviour on many days. To save on plastic straws (now with CoVID people avoid straws naturally), I carry a couple of bamboo straws in my bike trunk, that can be washed and reused.

    On that note, I invite and would love to hear&learn from you all -@Soumi Paul @Andrea Hayward @Kakoli Majumder @Jayashree Rajagopalan @Vivien Kretz @chris leonard @Shruti Turner on your personalised sustainable measures applied on a daily basis at home/work.

    Eagerly looking forward to more motivation in this direction, from each one of y'all!

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for starting this thread @Gayatri Ramachandran! i always love to learn from each other about this diverse topic.

    I have a coffee membership and a reusable coffee cup for that.

    I also stopped eating meat, drinking cow milk and started to replace some of my other dairy products. I find cheese super replacable but still struggle with eggs.

    In Amsterdam, the separation of waste really is limited. I wish I had more options there.

    I also read on a sustainability blog that one should delete their unimportant emails regularly as they take up a lot of cloud space which uses a lot of energy. Just because something is online, it does not mean that it doesn’t have an energetic impact.

    I am looking forward to learn from everyone else as well.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Appreciate your prompt response! Yeah its true @Vivien Kretz that deleting unimportant mails is energy gained than energy lost. It seems very trivial but imagine the contribution, if we all did that! (I do it on a bimonthly basis (coz of my OCD probably), ever since I created my gmail account and happy that you reminded that).

    Thats a very very pertinent and important contribution you are making by carrying your own coffee mug! Kudos! This is something which I have inspired some students, here in my school canteen, to follow too :)

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 251 admin

    Thanks for the tag @Gayatri Ramachandran. It's crucial to start this dialogue around sustainability and ensure that we're accountable to ourselves and to each other in our efforts to incorporate a sustainable lifestyle.

    I'm really big on reusing - something I learnt from my mother and grandmother. My kitchen shelves are lined with reused glass jars are bottles - I use these to store all my herbs and spices. I also use old wine bottles and coffee mugs as planters - they're easy to maintain and add a touch of green to my living room. In fact, I've often used these as gifts along with a little sapling - and people have always been very happy to receive them. :). I love shopping at thrift stores too - luckily for me, these are quite popular in Bangkok. I've also started composting recently.

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ah, thank you for bringing me into this thread! I am so passionate about sustainability, but I have to admit I am a moderate in this area. I believe in everyone doing their bit to help the planet (people, environment, economy!) rather than a minority doing EVERYTHING.

    Here are some of the things I like to do in my day-to-day (work and home) for sustainability.

    1) reusable hot drinks cup/water bottle comes with me when I'm out OR I just don't get a hot drink/stay in to save on the waste cup

    2) Look at food miles and palm oil contents etc

    3) I buy loose veg/fruit and not the packets of plastic (also, I have reusable veg bags so no paper waste!)

    4) Always take re-usable bags shopping (whether groceries or otherwise)

    5) Only buy what I need (food, clothes etc) with few luxuries and mend where I can to minimise waste and if I do I try to shop local/independent where possible, particularly eco friendly/sustainable/happy worker brands i.e. not just greenwashing

    6) plastic/chemical/palm oil free toiletries (toothpaste tabs, "naked" bars for shampoo/soap etc)

    7) old-school milk delivery - no more plastic from supermarkets but glass bottles of milk delivered to my door and return the used bottles

    8) DON'T PRINT PAPERS!! This is a big one for my work.

    9) I cut down my meat/animal product consumption (I have to balance my health and sustainability!)

    10) I walk/take public transport where I can, rather than drive myself. In fact, I refuse to commute with a car, only on public transport.

    Here are just a few things. Unfortunately, I don't feel like it is enough or ever will be unless more people start ding more. BUT, I still believe there is a reason to do it. Our individual behaviours start to have an effect on the people around us. My mother-in-law always used to pick up little gifts or niff naff here and there and collect them for little presents at Christmas/Birthdays and most was rubbish to go in the bin. Now she has stopped! My parents and sister/brother-in-law now use toothpaste tabs. My mum who always loved shopping as "retail therapy" doesn't like to do it anymore because she has my voice in her head asking if she really needs it! These are just some examples. Those people then influence their circle of friends/colleagues/acquaintances and the movement gets bigger. One of my good friends always says..we vote with our wallet! I personally think we are making excuses when we do nothing but expect government and big companies to start the work. They won't, we know that already...but I do believe we can make a difference as a group of individuals.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Good going @Kakoli Majumder ☺️ I found the idea of gifting plants in old bottles very cute indeed! And, Thank you for reverting on this

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Wow! Indeed you are a head "Turner" @Shruti Turner 😁. I loved your "minimalist" choices, saving the earth and your pocket! And the best ever part is the inspiration that you are, to your family members, which you can be so proud of 🤗. Learnt the "palm oil" thingy from your list, I was unaware of this.

    Man, golden words you have spoken- the government and the works cannot help here, it is totally upon us as individuals to save and do more (more is never less when it comes to doing anything for our mother earth!)

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    Oh my, what you said really spoke to me! My need for control does the same to me and nudges me to delete my unnecessary e-mails in a timely manner. However, if that works together with doing good for the planet, I will gladly take it!

    Also, a great thing that I love to do is use "leave one take one" libraries filled with second-hand books. You can often find gems there and give books a second life instead of buying new ones and it often is free, too. Such an amazing invention! 📚

    It is great how you inspire your students! Absolutely amazing!

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    I get the feeling that it never is enough in such a global and all-encompassing situation. However, you really have to pat yourself on the back a little bit @Shruti Turner . These are all amazing measures and you definitely have inspired me and everyone in your circle! The examples you give are just great!

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Thats a beautiful concept-"Leave one take one"library! Wow! Thanks a lot for reverting with this truly amazing idea @Vivien Kretz. Your kindness speaks ahead of you, in every word out there ☺️.

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 401 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 27

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I really do try, but as I say...everything in moderation. I feel everything comes from balance.


    Yes, palm oil is such a hidden nasty. It is in so much that I wonder if it really needs to be...toothpaste, biscuits, peanut butter etc. It's why I love the toothpaste tabs..they are palm oil free (which is apparently the part that makes the froth but it's totally unnecessary from a hygiene perspective!) and also plastic free. It's like a double hit! I also don't see why palm oil is added to things that are naturally oil, it's also in so much of the ready meals and quick eats. I think (don't quote me on this) it's the main, or at least one of the main, reasons for cutting down the rainforests. I was fortunate enough to be in Borneo a few years ago and on the flight in/out you could see the difference in the foliage between natural rainforest and palm plantations. I find it so heartbreaking that we are destroying habitats and wildlife, even more so for animals that are practically human. (I don't think it makes it worse, but it hits home a lot more!)

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you so much! It feels so great to hear that I can inspire even just a few people. I love your leave one, take one library. It's crazy how many trees we cut down to read a book just once and put it on a shelf to gather dust.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Thank you so much @Shruti Turner for the short and precise analysis of the palm oil, its plantations and implications. The way you put-"animals are practically human" is so much truth! Sad, bitter truth.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    WOW! Thanks for starting this conversation @Gayatri Ramachandran! I've learned so much from your comments as well as the ones shared by @Shruti Turner @Vivien Kretz and @Kakoli Majumder. Picked up a lot of things that I'm going to try. I had no idea about the impact of deleting unnecessary emails. It's not difficult at all, and if it's going to help the planet, then I'm going to assign time weekly to do this. Thank you for enlightening me.

    After reading your comments, I feel like my sustainability efforts are quite weak and I'm still learning. I also reuse shopping bags for groceries and other essentials. I have a couple of cloth bags that I carry with me to department stores or even supermarkets. I also try and reuse cloth in any way that I can. Old bedsheets and towels, or even clothes usually become handy wipes or rugs. I've also somehow convinced my family that we don't need to buy newspapers every day and that they can consume news in more virtual formats. Thanks to this we haven't purchased a paper in over 2 years. I do love reading but I try as much as possible to not buy new books. I buy used books or get them from a library and then return them.

    Small steps and I hope I can get better at this :)

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    It brings a big smile on my face that destiny has brought us souls together just not to raise R voice for research but for so many things in common that we share, which is so beautiful!❤️

    Thank you@Andrea Hayward for reverting with the essential contributions that you are making for a greener planet. Keep that spirit going and do continue motivating those in your fraternity to follow your footsteps for a happier next gen that must draw inspiration from us, so they can do better and bigger for mother earth😍