My grandfather – on my mother’s side – was a poet and a teacher. My father, his student, was a communist. In his career as an author, editor and political activist, he had to move around from city to city in Kerala. So I never studied in the same school for more than 2 years at a stretch.
I turned out to be a sportsman with a keen interest in science when I was young. No family precedence on either fronts.
I took up Physics as my main subject, inspired by the lectures of Prof. Jayaram in my two years of pre-degree course at St Thomas College, Thrissur.
While doing my B.Sc. Physics, in Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, I was inspired by a Hindi lecturer, Prof. Krishnan Nair, and started reading international literature and philosophy. By the time I finished my degree, I was clear what I wanted to do in my life.
I thought that the purpose of my life is to solve the problem of mind-matter duality in philosophy, using science. My father persuaded me take up Life Sciences for my Masters, to make this journey easy. I still feel a tinge of regret that I did not continue my intention of continuing with my Physics till the age of 40.
Life Sciences in Jawaharlal Nehru University exposed me to a variety of interesting problems. In Life Sciences itself, Molecular Biology was exploding with new findings every week. Issues related to growth and development of form and function were enticing… Ultimately I came to the conclusion that I can not master Life Sciences till I had some basic foundations in Earth Sciences.
In short, I was not willing to spend five years looking at the firing of some neuron or studying a particular receptor of a particular neurotransmitter. So I became a science communicator – a profession that allows me to indulge in different topics, rather promiscuously.
My hobby and occupation: Communication Design.
I speak, read and write Malayalam, English, and Hindi. And have studied Sanskrit (read slowly), Tamil (read slowly and speak a little). But my main language is now English. Which is not my mother tongue. So I still trip on verb-noun agreement and article ‘the’.
I am married to Gita, a former French teacher and translator. Presently, a blogger and active in social media. Half Telugu, half Punjabi, born in Bangalore, brought up in Pondicherry… It was in JNU that we met – the best thing that happened to my life. So she ended up marrying a Malayalee. The only way to describe her is to say she is Indian.
The result of this national integration is one son, working in digital media management, married to a fashion designer.
We live in Pune now. You can see Vetal Tekdi in the background of this picture on the right (that sometimes fails to load).
If the workshop circuit has not stopped me from being productive, I have these guys to thank. Gita completes me as a person and as a professional. You can see her blogs Iti uvacha, Khana banana, Suryanamaskaram, and her daily output of a reading list of a poem, a short story and an essay in Writers Rite, a Facebook Page.
I have a younger brother who is a social activist and film maker and an elder brother, who was trained as a linguist but is into teaching different modes of inquiry and its importance in education. My sister is a home maker and a singer. The influence of being sandwiched between such people has also been considerable.
As you can see, the way I appear seem to change. I am a hairy person, not a naked ape. Sometimes I shave and sometimes I don’t.
Next time you meet me, I may not look like any of my pictures in this site.