April 15, 2018

There is no free lunch in life

Lately, I’ve chanced upon a Facebook post addressed to PM from our young overseas workers in Japan. The letter mainly sheds light on their struggles and aspirations of the so-called developed country. And also remarks on the challenges of having to keep up with the exorbitant living standard, monthly bills, daily expenses and fees, and reimbursement that's due back home.

There is no denying whatever has been detailed in the piece is unfeigned. After all, it is the reality check that must be conveyed to everyone willing to work here and suffer the same fate. I suppose it must be consistent in every economically stable country that life in a fast lane is more than the everyday photos we see on Facebook. Many off-screen stories remain buried.

Lets get straight to the core that this article doesn't take umbrage in the opinions shared by our compatriots. 

I am a second year postgraduate student in Japan. I don't moonlight as my time is mostly consumed in the lab. But, I have some friends who had come here through overseas employment agency, a scheme deemed parallel to earn and learn program. Whenever time allows, we catch up on weekends to talk a blue streak about our own experiences here. Of working, studying and living in a place that is so different form ours. All of us agree to one thing- "there is no time to stand and stare". Yet, we take pride in the fact that no matter how busy life keeps moving, there is always a moment to freeze and create a little Bhutan to remain firm with our roots.

While I find it realistic that our young people had broached up (Facebook post) several points, concomitantly it’s also a high time we give in our second thoughts and go hell-bent. How far are we going to stretch in life lodging complains. How far should we cocoon in our comfort zone.  Isn’t it time we accept our own choices, keep embracing the challenges, sharpen our grit and be the game changer?

Honestly, It would not be too much to say we are plain sailing folks. We take things for granted, wait for the ball to drop, look for a chance event to become affluent overnight and get lost in fairy tales trance. This is why it breeds inextricable complacency in us.

Here, be it schools, universities or any other work place, there are absolutely no grounds for complacency. They have toughed up to take on every impediments and attuned to what we often relish to quote- "life is unfair"

On the more, their success story was not conceived overnight. Not even a year or two. Neither its because of few man’s quest to transform this great nation. Centuries of ceaseless hard-works coalesced with seamless recipes like commitment, positive attitude, diligence, planning goals and so on, had gone into placing them on their present pedestal. Their indomitable disposition is the testament to rest of us that we can as well stand tall and basks in the glory of our labour.

Well, now what leaves us behind the race despite not being any lesser?

It seems plausible the dearth of aforesaid recipes leave us quite laid-back in our pursuit somehow. Whatsoever, our pace has begun to pick up double fold. We are writing our own success stories progressively. So, at this juncture the one and only thing we must devote vigorously is the will to brave with all our might. Otherwise, we are already too good to join the biggies.

I have been a witness to my lab members who at times breaks down regardless of fighting with their champion spirits. Should they feel like crying, they do so. But it doesn't finish there. They give a lethal comeback. That is where I have discovered the Japanese secret come in handy. The line seems to be very distinct at this point of time.

My early days were not fairy tales either. I have had my incessant rounds of frustrations, complains and grievances. On several occasions, it had me questioned seriously if coming to Japan, as a postgraduate student, was really my calling. Even now, I admit it candidly that I tussle a lot. But today I have learned to tussle with Japanese recipes, and since I know it’s there to wrought me into any finest forms, the way ahead looks clear of odds.

One of my professors shuttles between lab and her apartment for about 90 miles every weekdays on a bullet train. This is daunting especially when one has family obligations and huge duties to perform in the university. I find it astounding she does it with so much grace that there is a perfect harmony. So, every time it exhausts me to travel 10-15 minutes by bicycle from home to lab, I become guilt ridden thinking of my Prof, who even with vast arrays of responsibilities manages to make smooth transitions between professional and personal life. I find myself little embarrassing on my part to play truant. 

My hexagenerian house owner, for example, is always up by the break of dawn for her day’s chore. I can see the couples are sufficiently well established with substantial income coming from the monthly rent and post retirement benefits. And by her age, back home, it would be a good respite in her life. But she is unstoppable in her works. Ever lively, she just can’t be underrated because of her old age. Here again, what a clean and neat way of ridding excessive feeling of smugness. Recall the Japanese recipes scribbled somewhere.

If at the prime of our lives, we take refuge in dodging away from the bitter truth of modern times, where’s the sense in that?

And if there is one great take away lesson I’ve learned the hard way, it must be this- there is no free lunch in life.

January 12, 2018

Revisiting 2017

Just another action-packed year has gone by. Grateful that I mustered all my courage and braved every odds that came along the way. All thanks to the almighty god for bestowing his top notch blessings. And not to be oblivious of my loved ones for keeping in their unremitting prayers and good wishes. 

2017 was grand in many ways.

In a series of flashbacks today, I have learned that the hard earned lessons of past year did pleasantly heighten my enthusiasm for this brand new start with an extra industrial strength. Like the beautiful Charice had hummed, even earthquake can’t shake me. Altogether, it has redoubled my grit for the love of learning.  

In particular, last September was a remarkable one.

I am happy the world cup of reproductive science titled ‘World Congress of Reproductive Biology’ came about at a time before my exit from Japan. I acknowledge all my professors for letting me rub shoulders with scientists from all across the globe. It was truly a powerful experience tuning into the experts of reproductive neuroendocrinology talk on their lifelong research. Or in any Tom, Dick or Harry’s parlance, the Gurus of reproductive biology. The conference also corralled many young scientists and scholars alike to present their research works.

The flood of knowledge let loose in the conference left quite an indelible mark. As I ferret out my own research on how the brain interplays to time the puberty in mammals, I look back to it and realize I have just begun to see the tip of iceberg. It had left me nonplussed. Yet the nerve to keep thrusting ahead was set on fire.

Of course, my excitement of listening to them would have been tantamount to yours, had you speculated reproduction is but a hedonic biological thrill. Haha.

The five days program came to a halt sharing some light moments with the giants. I seized the chance to pose a question or two and tossed beer. I have read in many books scientists relish it.  Sated with pleasure it was simply a world class. The get together was awe inspiring, conversation lifting and first of its kind in my many years of learning.

Besides, Okinawa was veritably a queen of beauty. Her picturesque setting of the tireless sea in the gloaming made everyone come over a pressing call to shed million dollar ideas, discuss and argue constructively for a healthy procreation. Because science is a concerted venture, one man army in quest of cracking codes until that eureka moment is something of an obsolete approach. The Okinawa based conference triumphed in amassing them together. The next mega event will sprout to live sometimes in 2019, Beijing, China.

All in all, the year ended in an extraordinary ways with hopes and aspirations afresh as I take on another promising journey. As usual, I give in to beaver away on whatever sets me in challenge. Explore, dream and discover. 

I could not have asked for any better. Wishing everyone good health and happiness.