Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ode to the Cookie Jar*

Of all the coveted froggies in the market,
I craved most for thee.
In spite of what it did to my pocket,
I ordered thee eventually.
Restlessly for the parcel I wait.

But, as I open the box, my ecstasy fades,

For I find thee shattered into shards.
Woebegone, I contemplate
On thy round bulging eyes, thy radiant shades,

And, unparalleled cuteness that inspires today's bards.

*Based on a true story about Toby-the-Toad-Cookie-Jar, who died a tragic premature death.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Nicholas the Charming

He is a little boy - one of the littlest ones in class. He gets into trouble often. His Dad gifts him a bike for coming in the top ten in a math test, although his Dad didn't know it was because "all the rest of the class was away with colds, and the eleventh was Mathew who always comes last anyway, but it didn't matter for him because he's got a bike already." When somebody is nice to him, he think he/she is "OK." He likes cowboy books and playing cowboys. He thinks girls are sappy and always crying. And to quote him on that: "Well, I suppose I sometimes cry myself, but only for something serious like when the living room vase got broken and Dad told me off and it wasn't fair because I didn't do it on purpose and anyway it was an ugly vase and I know Dad doesn't like me to play soccer in the house but it was raining outside." That's Nicholas!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Un Voyage Extraordinaire

The green meadows of the French countryside dotted with grazing cattle and golden rolls of hay looked like a delightfully serene painting. The deep blue waters of the Gulf of Morbihan stirred gently in playful contemplation as a solitary jellyfish drifted past a stretch of oyster farms. Close by, a charming old mansion stood tall on its own private little island. It was an island so tiny that you could walk around it in less than an hour. And, rather peculiarly, it would cease to be an island, when the tide fell, for a meandering road would surface restoring its connectivity to the mainland. Somewhere inside the mansion a lecture on medical imaging was in progress. And there I was seated in the lecture hall scribbling notes after being jolted out of my jet lag by one too many shots of French espresso!
It was all part of a two-week summer school program on medical imaging under the IEEE EMBS. We were housed on the the little island called Île  de Berder, fed lavish servings of fresh seafood, and instructed by some of the smartest minds in medical imaging. Sounds like stuff that dreams are made of, doesn't it?

The Grass Wasn't Green on Either Side...

In fact there wasn’t any grass anywhere. Oh no, I’m not talking about my recent trip to France. France (especially the French countryside) was very green and simply breathtaking. But, during my return trip, I had an experience—a rare one, and that is what I’m here to share today… I saw Greenland!