When love goes to science for inspiration

first_imgAn engineer, a finance teacher and now a fiction writer, Dr Rajiv Seth is a man of many fields. This ardent lover of science does not believe in restricting himself to only one domain. In his book Never Say Goodbye, he entwines a love story with science. Read on to discover what sowed the first seed for his book, his views on technological innovation and its possible aftermath… Your book Never Say Goodbye is a love story in which the character attempts to transcend the law of nature through science to make her love eternal. Since it is your first book, how did it happen? What was the source of inspiration for you? And tell me something more about the book. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Many years ago, human beings experimented with Dolly the sheep – the first attempt at cloning an animal. It fascinated me, and just like many others, I wondered if it would ever lead to human cloning. I followed the many debates which have taken place, and I guess that is what sowed the first seed of the story of my book.Never Say Goodbye is about two doctors, Anjali and Aakash, each satisfied in their own worlds, but each yearning to do much more in life. And so when they meet, it is as if the synergies propel them into new areas of work. They work together, pushing each other to realise their potential. Emotional and physical attachments naturally follow – but complications arise because Anjali is married and Aakash is not. Initially Aakash lectures Anjali on marriage being sacrosanct, while Anjali is rebellious. Aakash pushes Anjali to get into the world of genetics and Anjali enjoys every bit of it, setting up a funded research lab in India. But then Anjali has a child from Aakash, and then the roles are reversed, with Aakash becoming so frustrated with Anjali and his child not being able to be with him, that in a state of depression he ends his life. Anjali is so taken aback, that, while thus far she was opposed to human cloning, she now pulls out a source of Aakash’s DNA and decides to take the plunge and create a clone of Aakash. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix You have taken up the issue of human cloning and therapeutic cloning in your book. The opponents of the technology use the notion of human dignity against it because of which either it is banned or a highly regulated field, what is your view on this technology?While therapeutic clwoning is being done, and the benefits of that are widely known, it is human cloning which has drawn-in the aspect of ethics into it. Can we play God? Won’t it lead to many chaotic situations? As I have mentioned in my book, what if someone could find the DNA and create multiple clones of Adolf Hitler? But then this happens with most technology. Scientists discover and create new things.How we use them is what determines the fate of the human race. Nuclear fission, for example, can be used for the good of mankind, but at the same time can destroy generations. So my opinion is that while the field of genetics will definitely benefit mankind, its misuse can lead to chaos.Technology has its share of bane and boon. Do you think putting a ban on further advances of some technology as being morally right? Don’t you think banning new technology only ensures that our society become stagnant? For instance, ban on genetically modified crops in India?Human beings wouldn’t be where they are, if it were not for scientific advancements. What is therefore required is a good regulatory framework where the use of technology or scientific discoveries are regulated in a correct and ethical manner. Above all, I think increased education and awareness levels would help us all to self-regulate!What is your passion? Is it science, finance, teaching or writing?Science definitely! There are so many fascinating things being discovered and created around us all the time, that the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ which little kids take along with them all the time, are still alive in me – and I do hope they never die.But then, being a typical Gemini, I have always wanted to dabble in many other things too. So Finance is what I got into for my doctoral research. Teaching and writing are natural corollaries. And today, what gives me the biggest high is to be in a class-full of young, questioning minds!Do you plan to write another book? Would it be a sequel to your first book because of its open ending?A lot of people who have read the book have actually felt that a sequel would be very interesting. Yes, Never Say Goodbye ends with many questions left unanswered in the readers’ minds – but then that was the intention. I get a thrill when those who have read the book write to me to say that they spent hours thinking after they finished with the book. So I have actually been toying with the idea of a sequel where the clone of Aakash takes birth, with Anjali not having a relationship of any sort with him, but still having a bond which is unshakeable. It would be interesting for the cloned Aakash to go through life in a society which is yet to come to terms with even genetically modified food!last_img read more

The Cultural Highlight

first_imgThe weekend witnessed a cultural treat at the all the three Dilli Haats in the Capital. The second week of the weekend festival Dilli Haat Utsav marked the next level of entertainment and fun. Artistes from diverse backgrounds geared up to deliver a captivating performance at the three Dilli Haats that engrossed everyone. Dilli Haat, Janak Puri witnesses the Bhangra and Gidda  dance performaces organised by Punjabi Academy on Saturday and Sunday’s evening was marked by the musical performance of Ashok Mastie (Glassi Fame). Dilli Haat, Pitampura saw the Maithli/Bhojpuri performances that captivated the audience. Dilli Haat, INA featured Urdu’s Poet Meet (Mushaira) by Urdu Academy on Saturday.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The six shayars of the meet were – Saleem Kashif, Sarfaraz Ahmed Sarfaraz, Sartaj Amrohvi, Samar Noorpuri, Qasir Sehswani and Rashid Baqui. Sunday witnessed performances by All Assamese Student’s Association, where folk songs and Assamese remix melodies delighted the audience.Delhi, often termed as mini-India has found an expression to its heritage with these series of weekly festivals at all three Dilli Haats till 31 March, 2015. Delicious and delectable food items from various cuisines in the country are being served at your platter. An elaborate presentation and sale of handicraft and handlooms items will be accompanying to satisfy your shopping appetite. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDelhi Tourism and Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Government of Delhi have jointly brought this series of weekend festivals. Institutions like Sahitya Kala Parishad, Hindi Academy, Urdu Academy, Punjabi Academy etc. will be hosting cultural shows, that include celebrity performance, Mushaira (Urdu Poet’s Meet), musical performances, Kavi Sammela and dance shows. The utsav that started on 13 September attracted a large number of audiences at all three venues. The first week of the festival featured qawali show oranised by Urdu Academy and folk dances from Rajasthan that engrossed the audience present there. This initiative by Delhi Tourism is to make every weekend a happening weekend and also gives a platform to new and seasoned artistes to showcase their talent.last_img read more

Japan volcano death toll hits 48 as new bodies found

first_imgThe figure makes the eruption of Mount Ontake, which was packed with hikers when it burst angrily to life on Saturday lunchtime, the worst volcanic disaster in Japan for almost 90 years.Up until Sunday 36 bodies had been found, but many of these remained on the ruptured mountain as toxic gas and the risk of further eruptions forced emergency workers to suspend operations.The grim news of more deaths came after media reports earlier suggested as many as 20 people remained unaccounted for, with an area of the volcano still spewing steam and gas. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenSome of the around 1,000 troops, police and firefighters combing the volcano succeeded in bringing down 14 more of the bodies that were discovered on Sunday, with another 10 still there. An official at Nagano prefecture`s crisis management office said helicopters had been used to ferry the dead from the mountain, whose pockmarked lunarscape bears witness to the huge volume of ask and rocks flung from the volcano.‘We believe there are more people still missing, but we don`t know how many they are,’ he added. Also Read – Pak Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanBroadcaster NHK said earlier in the day rescuers had seen more bodies that they had not yet been able to access.Hiking is a hugely popular pastime in Japan, with mountain trails promoted by tourism officials who ask walkers to sign in when they begin their trek and sign out again when they finish.But a local tourism association told the Asahi Shimbun that usually only 10 to 20 percent of hikers register before entering the mountains in high season.The report said 327 hikers had registered their presence on Mount Ontake at the time of the eruption.last_img

Aedes Agypti larvae samples found in BR Singh Hospital construction site

first_imgKolkata: A team of KMC officials visiting B R Singh Hospital and a construction site in Central Kolkata found Aedes Agypti larvae in both the premises on Saturday.The team led by Atin Ghosh, Member, Mayor-in-Council (Health) visited the hospital premises and the construction site on Saturday afternoon as a part of the anti-larvae drive. It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has directed the civic bodies to conduct anti-larvae drives throughout the year. The civic officials found Aedes Aegypti pupa at the canteen building of BR Singh Hospital. Aedes Aegypti pupa and Anopheles pupa were found on the accumulated water on the roof of the new building and inside four water tanks whose covers were missing. Culex larvae were found in the drain beside the canteen. Aedes Aegypti pupa was found in the accumulated water on the parapet wall. The report has been submitted to the hospital authorities. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAedes Aegypti pupa and larvae were found at the site of Ideal Construction. The garbage had not been cleared for quite some time. There is accumulated water on the balcony and the cover of the water tank has not been kept properly. The KMC officials informed the officials at the site to take immediate steps and gave a written report of the findings. If the owner fails to comply, then the KMC will file a case with the Municipal Court where the quantum of the fine could be anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 1 lakh.last_img read more

Illegal arms racket busted in Bengal nine arrested

first_imgKolkata:The Special Task Force of the Kolkata Police seized 60 semi-finished improvised firearms, ammunition and arms making equipment and arrested nine persons during two separate raids, an official said on Tuesday. The raids were conducted in Kolkata and North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal, a senior officer said. While three arms dealers were arrested with semi finished guns and Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) from Kolkata’s Maidan area during a raid on Monday, another six persons were arrested from an illegal arms factory in North 24 Parganas district’s Jagatdal later on that day, police said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “The anti-FICN team of the Special Task Force arrested three persons named Suku Seikh, Md. Azimuddin and Md. Shamim from near the Kolkata Police Paddock in Maidan area on Monday. Forty semi-finished improvised firearms were seized from them,” the officer said. “Apart from the guns, a bundle of fake Rs 500 notes of the value of Rs 1 lakh was also seized from the three accused,” he added. Acting on a tip-off from one of the arrested accused, the STF team then raided an illegal arms factory at Choto Sreerampur village in Jagatdal area and arrested another six persons working in the factory. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed “Twenty pieces of semi finished fire arms, one lathe machine, two drilling machines and several parts of improvised firearms were seized from the factory. Six persons working in the illegal workshop were arrested,” the officer said. According to STF, seven of the nine arrested persons are from Bihar while two others are from Maharashtra and Bengal, respectively. “All the arrested accused have been prosecuted under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 489B,C (possession of counterfeit currency) and various sections of the arms act. They will be presented in the court today (Tuesday),” the officer added.last_img read more

NKDA installs leg press machine for public use

first_imgKolkata: In a unique move New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has installed an outdoor exercise equipment for the residents as a part of the green and happy city initiative.This is for the first time in Bengal when such equipment has been installed for the public. It may be mentioned that in Bhutan, open air outdoor equipment have been installed for visitors and local people to use as a part of the implementation of the wellness concept. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has also decided to set up outdoor gymnasiums in its parts and squares.The leg press machine has been installed near the Nazrul Tirtha bus stand. People across ages throng the bus stop and some of them have already started working out using the machine. The concept behind installing the equipment is staying fit while waiting for buses.The leg press machine is very useful as it stimulates the quads, glutes and hamstrings to their maximum potential. As many elderly people suffer from knee problems, using the machine can give them relief.All sportsmen, athletes, swimmers and cyclists use similar machines to increase the strength of their leg muscles.If successful, NKDA will install other such equipment for the public. New Town is fast coming up as a green and happy city. Steps have already been taken to increase the green cover. It is the first area where air-conditioned electric buses have been introduced.last_img read more

Jessore Road reels under pressure of heavy vehicles

first_imgKolkata: The pressure of goods vehicles has increased in Jessore Road after the collapse of Majerhat bridge. According to the police, a section of goods vehicle drivers are using the Belgharia Expressway and Jessore Road to enter Kolkata and to move towards South 24-Parganas.According to police sources, since the collapse of Majerhat bridge, a good number of heavy goods vehicles have been using Jessore Road as their entry point. Due to this, traffic congestion has also increased in the airport area. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”As Kolkata Police has imposed some new restrictions, we are using Jessore Road as the entry point to the city. Several drivers are using Eastern Metropolitan Bypass to travel to South 24-Parganas. The distance is getting a bit high,but we can move smoothly using this route,” said a truck driver.”We have noticed that the movement of goods vehicles has increased recently. As a result of excessive pressure of traffic, it is taking a long time to clear the congestion,” said an official of Bidhannagar Police. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedDue to the increasing number of goods vehicles, Jessore Road is also getting damaged. The stretch between airport 3 number gate and airport 1 number gate is in a mess. Due to bad weather since the last few months, a section of road has been heavily damaged. The pressure of goods vehicles on the road is damaging it further. As a result, normal vehicular traffic flow is getting slower, creating congestion.According to daily commuters, the situation worsened due to goods vehicle movement after 9 pm. “After 9 pm, goods vehicles rule the road. Due to that both Kolkata and Barasat bound movement gets slower,” said Sanjib Chakraborty, a resident of Madhyamgram area.last_img read more

New musical to recapture songs of Independence in Bengali theatre

first_imgSome of  our most popular songs of Independence- composed during India’s struggle for freedom- that were used in Bengali theatre will be presented at a unique musical to be put up by Academy Theatre for its annual show this month. The musical is all about how Bengali theatre, specifically its songs, came to imbibe the spirit of patriotism. With the passage of time, these songs won the pride of place in the nation’s clarion call for freedom during the British rule in India, when the entire country grew restive to free itself from imperialist shackles.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBengali theatre had naturally accumulated a vast repertoire of mancha-gaan (theatre songs) of patriotic and nationalistic fervour, handed down from generation to generation. The musical which weaves together these patriotic songs has been conceptualised and directed by theatre researcher and singer Devajit Bandyopadhyay.The festival is an attempt to explore the mancha-gaan which swam against the tide during the struggle for Independence to inspire the masses along with a tribute towards the national heroes of India. “It all began with Dinabandhu Mitra’s Neel Darpan, staged in 1872 and Jyorindanath Tagore’s play Sarojini featuring a song by Tagore and moved onto theatre during the Partition of Bengal (1905). Plays by Amritalal Basu, Girish Ghosh, songs by Mukunda Das, Rabindranath Tagore and D L Roy became extremely popular. This was the time when songs like O amar desher mati, Maayer deoa mota kapor, Otho go Bharatlakhhi and Bankim Chandra’s Bande Mataram came to be sung by the masses”, Devajit told Millennium Post. The songs will be presented on stage by  Devajit and Riddhi Bandyopadhyay.last_img read more

High levels of bacteria found in raw meat dog foods

first_imgFeeding your pooch with raw meat could pose potential health risks as they contain high levels of bacteria, researchers have warned. A study by researchers from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Sweden showed that many raw meat products contain enterobacteriaceae species, which are indicators of faecal contamination and hygiene standards. Such food products can also cause health risks to people, particularly infants, elderly and those with poor immunity, the study said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA raw meat-based diet has become increasingly popular with dogs in recent years because it is seen as a “healthier natural alternative” to the widely available commercial products. But unlike commercial feeds, raw meat products are not heat treated or freeze dried to pasteurise, the research team added. For the study, published in the journal Vet Record, researchers took samples from 60 packs of raw meat samples that were analysed for bacteria, including enterobacteriaceae species – clostridium perfringens, salmonella and campylobacter. Nearly 31 samples (52 per cent) contained bacteria levels that exceeded the 5,000 bacteria per gram maximum threshold set by the European Union regulations, said the study. Escherichia coli was found in about a third of the samples. Clostridium perfringens, another marker of faecal contamination and hygiene standards, was found in 18 samples (30 per cent).last_img read more

Special arrangements for Haj pilgrims first flight to take off from city

first_imgKolkata: Ensuring better service for pilgrims going for Haj this season, the West Bengal State Haj Committee has made special arrangements this year.”The first Haj flight (SV 5425) will take off from Kolkata on July 25, 2019. It will leave at 6.25 pm. All arrangements have been made for pilgrims’ comfort and safety. The Haj pilgrims will have to report West Bengal State Haj Committee on July 23,” Ejaz Ahmed, media coordinator of West Bengal State Haj Committee, told Millennium Post. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThis year, approximately 12,000 Haj pilgrims from Odisha, Bihar, Tripura and West Bengal will be leaving for the pilgrimage from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. As many as 8,650 pilgrims are scheduled to make the pilgrimage from West Bengal alone. Like previous year, this year also, chief minister Mamata Banerjee will make arrangements for the breakfast of the pilgrims and special dry fruits packet will be offered to them. West Bengal State Haj Committee chairman Nadimul Haque will see off the pilgrims at the airport. The departure of Haj pilgrims will continue till August 5, 2019. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”Haj pilgrims are instructed to report West Bengal State Haj Committee for vaccination and other details three days before their departure,” said Ahmed. At the time of reporting, Haj pilgrims will be asked to furnish their application form along with vaccination paper. The cost incurred in performing Haj is Rs 3,12, 800. To prevent any untoward incidents, ambulance and fire extinguishers will be present at State Haj Committee and Haj Tower. Haj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is performed in the last month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims are expected to make at least once during their lifetime if they can afford to do so.last_img read more