Sunday, February 20, 2011

Anuj's PhD viva tomorrow

Yeah what a title to a post. This will be his last touch with our lab. A classic example of a bad student-guide relation that went sour in the very beginning and could never be disabused.

Anuj has completed five and a half years of PhD time. Boss-D ascribes his glorious publication to his luck of being associated with the lab, I'll refrain from writing about what Anuj thinks of Boss-D; I think Boss-D knows full well. When I joined the lab as a project assistant in Jan 2006, Anuj was in his first year of PhD and a baby faced, happy-go-lucky kind of a person. He felt that Boss-D was too hot-headed and oppressive but Boss-D felt that Anuj's behaviour was abberant for a PhD student. True, ours was a high pressure lab and Anuj would've probably done much better with a softer guide. In those days, the rising sun was a harbinger of headaches as every morning Anuj would get shouted-at. They both were partly responsible for this debacle of a new-student-in-the-lab time. Depressed, Anuj took up smoking and continued till last year when he gave it up for good. He started to drink as well. 2006 and early 2007 was the time when I myself lost control over my drinking habit. Much of this time was shared with Anuj/Sankalp, Rick and Harman separately. Man!! How much was I drinking!

My relation with Anuj has been extremely fraternal and has grown ever closer over the past years, especially so after Sanky left for New York and I joined PhD in the same lab that I'd left as a project assistant. I was closer to Sanky and his departure brought me even closer to Anuj.

Anyway the vendetta between Anuj and Boss-D took a whole new turn after the big JBC got published from the lab with Anuj and Arijit as joint first authors. Something went amiss in the Anuj's emotional response to the situation. He suddenly started to feel distanced from the lab owing to his thoughts on the total authorship of the paper. The wrong vibes were sensed by everyone and they started to retaliate in kind. Anuj's behaviour was discordant but I don't know if I should blame him for that, he'd taken too much of shit by then and had grown disgruntled. Boss-D was quick offense. To me, as an "outsider" within the lab, everybody seemed to be losing it.

Apparently Boss-D didn't write a good recommendation letter for Anuj when some of the biggest scientific names in the world, interested in Anuj's CV, requested for one; Anuj was rejected by all. He then left the lab to join as a Level-III PA at another lab within the institute. Since then every time he comes to the lab to meet Boss-D to remind him to send recommendations to the new interests, he knows what Boss-D's sending but he doesn't have an option but to ask him to send one. Tomorrow, is his final PhD seminar. I am no one to judge Anuj or Boss-D, one's my Great friend and the other a Great guide to me; seriously, I have no issues with Boss-D, in fact, at times, I feel that he's nice to me. Boss-D has mellowed down to a humongous degree over the past few years but he's still disgruntled with Anuj.

I've seen Anuj change from a soft chubby carefree guy to a fitness freak, hard-hearted and melancholic man. Still I can never forget the alacrity with which he lent me money and literally forced me to buy a digi-cam, which he himself hunted around for me to buy. He did it because I used to ride with my girl to far off places but didn't have a digi-cam to click as many pictures as I could. I really will remember him for his serious protocolish advices on how to patiently deal with my impatient dad and not mess my relation with him. I'll always remember that trip to Haridwar on Jan 15, 2007 when Sanky ditched us both and left with his friend and we both spent an amazing time at the Shanti-kunj Aashram roaming around and exploring the adjoining areas on foot and how we sat to warm our hands near a fire set-up by an old yogi baba. I'll never forget my bike-ride to Rishikesh for river-rafting with him when we also stopped by at my sister's place in Herbertpur. I'll never forget my bike-ride with him and Harman to Thanedar, when we simple had the most amazing time that guys can have together. I'll never forget the way he made fun of me whenever I was in an over-extended mourning period of my break-ups. I'll never forget how he (and Sanky) shaped my attitude towards life in many ways. I'll always accredit him to changing my inherent sordid and morose outlook towards life to a slightly lighter.

Last but not least, I'll never forget the awesome drinking sessions we've had and the time when we consumed bhaang (Cannibis) on Holi (like many others at the institute) and got hysterical. Of course we've had minor issues a few times (though I can't remember which ones exactly). I've never been professionally associated with Anuj as we both worked on different projects but my take on him is that he can get rigid with his colleagues if they don't comply to his ways. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing and to what degree as at times you do need to put your foot down while working with unusually self-centered people.

I think I get along well with everybody in the lab because I am the one-man-army in my project, all the others share the same project. I'm not fussy with people except for general cleanliness and lab discipline. Still I do get grumpy once in a while.

I've known him for a little more than five years now. I remember we both got a little sentimental when I was leaving as a project-assistant and how happy we were when I joined PhD in the same lab after a gap of one year. I still kept in touch with Anuj n Sanky through that gap of one year. I'll never forget Boss-D's warning to me to not reform the gang with Anuj and Sanky when I was about to join PhD; ha we did and we had a great time.

It's a bit saddening to see stuck in this phase of life but I'm happy that tomorrow he'll get his PhD degree and I hope he's off to a great place to do his Post-Doc. I hope his love for science is rekindled and he does well in life and I hope Boss-D and Anuj reconcile someday. Will always remember you Anuj. God bless you. Good luck for tomorrow.

N yeah I will watch a movie with him before he leaves, though I hate watching movies; that's the very reason he wants to take me to one.


Anuj P said...

seeing this after so long yaar........Jesse.....
kya kahu....

Anuj P said...

Jeese.. I m reading it now..... i think it's even more interesting to read it at this time.... kya bolu tumko abhi...

Jesse said...

Love you man, BWAB :)