Dr. Viyatprajna Acharya
Watched recently “Mission Mangal” along with my gals. This is one of the rarest Bollywood movies where Hero and Heroine are not husband and wife.
I was misty-eyed all throughout the movie. One may laugh and ask why…First I was seeing my own story in the character of Vidya Balan.
Yes, this is what exactly is a working woman’s life in India. Still the society is struggling to accept women as serious academician or intellectuals…gender equality in USA is expected to come after 217 years, who cares about it in India???
This is exactly what happens when a serious project of mine has to be submitted or a viva is there or a class is there…..maid takes off, children fall ill, their exams clash with my classes…..on top of it, spouse keeps making you guilty for working, if children don’t do well in the exam it’s the woman’s fault (whether she’s literate or illiterate, it’s immaterial), if they become fat, mother is pampering, if they become lean, mother doesn’t take care…so bottom-line is woman is to be blamed for anything and everything.
But I liked the way Vidya answers her hubby casually ‘she has to work because she loves her work’. Alas! Every woman can do that! One thing has to be understood that if we severe our heads and offer on a platter, then also nothing is going to please the world. Hence forget about pleasing everyone. Know your ‘Swadharma’ (by natural Shraddha due to your past karmas, your Swadharma is decided) and work accordingly.
Coming to a researcher’s life, this is the story of most of us. First hurdle is funds. We Indians are good at Jugaads, making local arrangements, saving our chemicals and reagents, churning out maximum out of minimum, saving the waste….even then funds come to you in a very tortuous way. Finally, you would have put 80% of your energy in getting that fund than doing the research proper.
For a meagre amount of Rs.8000/- once I had to run 80 times to different persons but finally succeeded and of course vowed not to venture again…but ‘Dil hai ki maanta nahin’ again trapped in my own passion and involved in 4 projects simultaneously. My point is, we have everything in bounty but lack a proper system. That’s where we lose our battle.
Coming to the work environment—yes, like everywhere else we too face jealousy, competition (for nothing I must say…together we can do a lot; we are unique in our own ways) and casual attitude of subordinates. Of late I understood–“Your dreams are yours, live them yourselves”. So, no expectations…one simple call from within…’Charaiveti, Charaiveti’…march ahead, march ahead.
When we think of something and feel it is new, at least 7 persons across the globe must be thinking about the same thing. Yes, it has happened so many times with me, and am sure must have happened with many others. So, you have an idea…go ahead fast and do it before anybody else comes up with the result. Jo jeeta wahi sikandar.
People may question what would we achieve by knowing whether life was there on Mars or not….many secrets can’t be divulged, the overt research satiates many covert missions too. Moreover, it was a giant leap in Space science and kudos to all the scientists working there.
Yes, as a scientist one may not earn too much, may not have a very luxurious life but definitely have the gratification of doing something that we love. Respect to all the scientists across who are working for the betterment of Mother earth.
All our research should be targeted for development of mankind and nation…Avishkaron ke paridhi me yadi manav ka pyaar nahin hai, srijanahina Vijnana byartha hai pranon ke upkaar nahi hai, Bhautikata ke utthanon me jibana ka utthana na bhulein” (if the discoveries are not targeted for benefit of mankind, if science is devoid of innovation, what is the use of hailing materialism). The COVID pandemic is a burning example which showed us what and how much can go wrong if intention behind research is not benevolent.
These are the values of Indian science. Instead of aping western researchers, they should come forward for original indigenous research. We have treasure house of knowledge…just look around…starting from home remedies, architectural marvels, stories from epics…we have innumerable research ideas. Our genotype is different, our country is one of the rarest with bio-diversities, unique in multiple cultures. Yes, it is the time to ‘Arise, awake and make the world a beautiful place to dwell in ‘.