Warning: I am not a bio guy, so I will make lots silly errors. But would you come to a blog with the words Time pass in it if you wanted path breaking-Nobel prize winning research?

Hypothesis: The gender of the child is determined by the egg inherently and not by the sperm as is currently stated.

Years ago, in my sex education class, our teacher asked us - So who decides the gender of the child?
"The male partner." Said the kids in chorus.
"Why?" asked the teacher.
"Because of that X, Y, something..." I said (I was a bit of a nerd...still am)
"Good." The teacher said and went on to explain why actually the man is responsible for determining the the sex of the child.

The man has XY chromosomes while the woman has XX. So depending on which of the chromosomes the man contributes to the union creates a baby boy or a baby girl.

I thought, what if it wasnt the man, but the woman who had a choice on what she wanted to receive? I mean, women have always been the choice makers, no? Havent men gone down on their knees to propose through centuries? It is always the woman who says yes or no! Maybe this is the case in genetics as well. 

I was talking to this attractive girl the other day. I put forth this hypothesis and a experiment design that could prove I was right (How charming, no? This is how I am such a hit among the ladies.)

So I put below the Experiment Design below. I dont have the resources or the time to carry out this experiment. It is the task of more nerdy people, the kind who never get called to parties, who have always been first benchers, who never got ahead with the ladies (Right now, each of you is thinking of some person, please forward this blog address to him.).

Design:

Main Experiment:
1. Take twin female new born (basically clones) mice. (Dont ask me how to determine their sex, I have a life)
2. Keep them in identical enclosures, feed them the exact same food, make them listen to the same music etc. i.e. keep the environment the same till they attain puberty.
3. Take twin male new born mice. Repeat step 2.
4. Make Mr.A procreate with Miss A. Make Mr.B procreate with Miss B. Since the boy mice are clones, they will take equal time to get acquainted with the girl mice who are clones in the same time. Give them the exact same time together.

Now, what I think will happen here is, Mr and Mrs.A (now that they are married) will have Baby A and Mr. and Mrs. B will have Baby B. Now, what I am saying is ---

Point I:: Baby A and Baby B will be  of the same gender. Either both boys or both girls. This happens because, both women mice, since they are clones, have the same egg type getting released from their fallopin tubes at the same time. This will bring us closer to proving my hypothesis. If they arent the same gender, then we are screwed. Let's close shop then and go back home.
(Also, you may argue, the same gender phenomena could also be because of clone male mice also. Patience, my friend. We will come to that.)

Point II:: (This is an extension of Einstien's God doesnt not play dice idea) I guess that the genetic make up of Baby A and B will be exactly similar i.e., they will be clones (if we managed to keep the environment constant). This proves that Einstein's idea was right.



Control Experiment:

1. Take twin female new born (basically clones) mice.
2. Keep them in identical enclosures, feed them the exact same food, make them listen to the same music etc. i.e. keep the environment the same till they attain puberty.
3. Take random male mice. Take one from say Germany Mr.G and the other one from Sri Lanka Mr.S, so that they arent related in anyway.
4. Make Mr.G procreate with MissA. Make Mr.S procreate with MissB.

Now, what I think will happen here is,

Point III: Baby G and Baby S (the names of the baby are chosen by the males, its a patriarchal society) will have the same gender. Since they have different fathers, who are in no way related, one would think that their genders would be different. But I reckon, their genders will be the same.

From Point I and III: We will be able to prove, the eggs of the mice have pre-decided what gender they are going to be when they fertilise.

From Point II: We will be able to prove that for the similar egg and similar set of sperms, the genetic make is similar. If we can make the similar approach exact sameness, we will have clones basically, identical brothers from a different mother (and father)

There. Thanks for reading. I hope you have enough questions. Please feel free to ask.





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The best gift a man could give...

This is a true story.

For the last one year I have been working in an Organisation known for its wacky advertisements. For some reason we associate the awesomeness of the ads with the awesomeness of the company. So when I got placed for this firm, I envisaged long discussions with the CEO over cups of coffee in an air-conditioned office about how I, an MBA from one of the top colleges in the country, could make the brand better.

There is a reason why they call it Sales and Marketing and not the other way around. It is supposed to tell you how your career is going to shape up. So it is going to be sales first.

Sales. My women friends liked the sound of it, probably coz it has the word 'sale' in it. Now who doesnt like a real good sale? But a sales job, as I found out soon, was very different from what I had expected. There were no air conditioned rooms, and there was only thele-ki-chai, and no coffee. The only discussions I had were with shopkeepers and Sales officers.

So, while Sales Officer as a job title sounds swanky, it is not. It essentially involves taking orders from each shop in a market. They earn only a fraction of an MBA would earn. In fact, even 5 years ago, my first salary at an Engineering firm was higher than what these guys make today. These guys are usually graduates with a degree in arts or something, that too, through distance education. Most of them are in their 30s and have a family to support. You ask them why didnt they study and you get different answers...

Paise nahi the ammi-abba ke pass... (Mom and Dad didnt have money)
Do baar fail hogaya tab ghar walon ne padhai chudwa di... (I failed twice, my folks asked to give up studies and work)
Behen ki shaadi ke liye job join kiya, aage nahi padha... (I started working to pay for my sisters wedding.  )

Some of them are intelligent, you feel bad for them. You wish you could help them in some way, maybe lend them some money every month. But then there are so many of them. In Mumbai alone I work with 8 different Sales Officers. There is no way I can lend money to each of them.

With time, you learn to accept the status quo. Maybe you studied hard and so you are here. Maybe it is not all because of being born into a family who knew the importance of education. You soothe yourself. For the time being.

Below the Sales Officers work the Sales Representatives (SR). Sales Representatives are the scum of the earth, or so they are treated. They are essentially courier boys, only worse. They work the hardest. There are times when I get tired walking in the market. I take a rickshaw. The SR walks 4 times as much as I do and cant afford a rickshaw. Heck, even a bus ticket costs 10% of his daily wage. I have had a bottle wine in Paris that cost more than what a SR makes in a month.

One such SR is Ramesh. I just realised, I dont even know his last name. That is how unimportant he is.

I have worked with Ramesh. He carries billboards, posters and then pastes them wherever I ask him to. The first thing I ask him, as a rule, is if he has had something to eat in the morning. He always says yes and when I offer to take him to a restaurant, shyly accepts.

He is shy, timid. He has sudden bursts of anger, frustration actually, over long work hours, over low pay, but like the sweat on his brow on a hot summer afternoon, he quickly wipes it off and puts on a cheerful face. Ramesh is short. He barely comes up to my shoulder. I walk quickly from shop to shop, my sports shoes dont let my soles get tired. He barely manages to keep up with me, his all season shoes, tattered in places, make me think how uncomfortable they might be. I slow down...

On that particular day, we had a plumbers' meet. It is what you think it is. It is a meet where plumbers come, we get a chance to tell them about our new products in the plumbing range and then we feed the plumbers dinner, everyone's happy, everyone except Ramesh. It was 8.30 in the night and the meeting that was supposed to start at 7.30 has yet not begun. Say hello to Indian Strechable Time.

"Yeh Deshmukh sir (Deshmukh is Ramesh's boss) ko yeh meet aaj hi rakhna tha...(Why did Deshmukh sir have to hold the meeting today?)" Ramesh said to me taking me to a corner.

"Kyun, aaj kya hai? (What is special about today?)" I asked.

"Aaj jaldi jaana hai na... (I have to leave early today)" He said, the worry lines on his forehead became more prominent.

"Kyun? Why?" I asked.

He smiled shyly.

"Aaj humari anniversary hai na... (Today is my anniversary)"

I don't know what I found cute, the fact that he actually wanted to go home early to his bride or the way he said it.

I asked him how long they had been married. "17 years," he said. He had a daughter who was in the tenth standard. He said he was going to make sure she does not turn out like him and goes to college. She is very intelligent he told me. He told me about his son. His son wants to be a cricketer. Cricket bats are expensive, he said.

I wondered how he manages a family on that salary. He must live in a slum. My mind wandered. Does he have water supply or do they have to collect water from a common tap? Are the toilets shared too? I felt bad. Sure, I knew how people lived in Mumbai, only, I never thought I would be working so closely with one of them.

I wondered what special he would do on his anniversary. Will he take his wife to a restaurant, a small one of course? Or will they watch a movie in a single screen theatre? Or will they just walk down a quiet road, just talking?

I asked him - "Toh aaj plan kya hai?"
"Mandir jaake aayenge...(We will visit the temple)" He said.

It seemed so pure. I had never thought one could do that on an anniversary. I had always thought of it as a western concept. But this was so Indian and so very beautiful.

"Aapki kya love marriage hai?" I asked.
"Nahi bhai, arranged." He said.

Deshmukh then came in, harried. He wanted Ramesh to fetch a few things from the market. One of our distributors was supposed to come to the meet. This distributor guy is one of the most annoying people I have met. But it is customary to welcome the guest with a bouquet of flowers. So, Ramesh, the all weather guy, had to fetch them from the market. Deshmukh handed Ramesh 200 rupees and asked him to get the best bouquet he can get. I wondered if it hurt Ramesh, that even a bouquet cost more than what he made in a day. How would you feel? But there was no time. It was 9 and the meeting had already started.

Ramesh ran, forgetting everything about his anniversary. He was back just in time with the flowers. I presented the flowers to the distributor. His ego was satisfied. He left the bouquet on the chair.

Once the meeting was over, Ramesh was ordered to keep the chairs back in place. All 80 of them. I started helping him, he tried to stop me, saying that I wasnt supposed to do it.

Around 11, we managed to wrap everything up. Ramesh picked up the bouquet and the three of us started walking towards the station to go back home. I was gloating in the glory of the success of the meet. I was too self absorbed to not understand why Ramesh had picked up the bouquet.

The train arrived on the platform, Deshmukh and I entered the first class compartment, while Ramesh fought his way into the second class compartment, all the while holding the bouquet close to his chest, with his trademark smile on his face.

I thought about what his wife would say when he presents her with the huge bouquet. Would he directly give it to her? Or will he shyly ask his daughter to give it to her mother? Will his wife blush, even after 17 years of marriage? Could all the diamonds, eating out in fancy places, costly gifts that rich men give their wives, ever match a bouquet of flowers and a visit to the temple? Isn't this, the best gift a man could give?




Dedicated to all the Rameshs out there... The unsung heroes of the FMCG industry...



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Arranged or love?


Short Story

"Heyyyy! Long time... What are you doing here?" Rajani yelled from across the shop.

Yelling in a saree shop is acceptable. It is like a cafe... for women... And you get to meet so many of your old friends... Rajani was a dear friend from college.

"I was buying sarees for my wedding..." I said.

"Woooowww... When are you getting married? How come you didnt tell me?" She asked.

"Umm... In two weeks... everything happened so fast..." I managed to say.

"So how is he? What does he do? Is he a Doctor? Remember how you used to say...," Rajani glanced at my mother who was going through a pile of sarees, "Is it a love marriage? Or is it arranged?"

"Umm.. It's complicated Rajani... He's an Engineer. Works with a multinational in Banglore," I said. I looked at my mother who was now getting impatient going through the pile of sarees all by herself... "I should get going Rajani. I will call you some time?"

Rajani left. She noticed I was under a lot of stress. Weddings are stressful. I thought mine will be smooth sailing. But life doesnt happen how you think it will.

I thought I will marry a Doctor someday. He will sweep me off my feet. I would be intrigued by his passion for his work. His dedication towards his patients, his ability do good for the society would attract me towards him. I looked at the sarees my mother was showing me. Peacock green with a turquoise pallu for the sangeet. Bottle red with shades of pink and a light orange pallu for the wedding day... I had a say in choosing the sarees I wanted to wear.... But what about the man I wanted to spend my life with?

Why didnt I have the right to choose him?

***

For our honeymoon, it was decided that we ll go to Ooty. It was close to Banglore. So it was decided.

Sometimes I think things would have been different had I been born and brought up in a big city... Maybe then I would get to choose the man I wanted to spend my life with. But look at Rajani... she lived in the same city... we went to the same college... and she can fall in love and marry the man she loves.

Why didnt I fall in love? I was friends with some guys. I had a crush on a guy in college. But could never fall in love with him. Should it be this difficult?

Walking down the steep inclines of Ooty with Suresh, now my husband, I couldnt stop thinking about how I had imagined my husband to be...

I thought how I imagined our afternoons to be... How we would talk about serious issues... about work... about how we wanted to do something for the poor... contribute to the society....

Suresh cracked a joke... I smiled... just enough to not hurt him... The poor guy had been trying to make me comfortable for the three days that we had been married.

He's so different than the guy I thought I will spend my life with... Suresh pointed towards the valley. He said something and laughed. I didnt hear what he said, I was too lost in myself. But his laughter was infectious. I smiled. This time, not out of mercy.

I was lost in my thoughts as we walked downhill. Just then a state transport bus came screeching down the slope and Suresh pulled me towards himself. I looked at the bus that whizzed by... too arrogant to care about a girl lost in her thoughts. I looked into the eyes of Suresh. He held me by my waist. I could feel his heaving chest, his strong hands... This was the first time I was standing this close to a man. I felt safe. I meant something to someone. There was someone who cared for me. He let his grip loose. His eyes almost apologetic for having held me so close.

He was back to his jocular self after a while. This time, I was lost in his talks. He was so intelligent.. so witty... We came across a park where there were school kids playing with balloons. He kept looking at them, a smile playing on his lips... The smile faded when he saw a poor boy in tattered clothes looking at those school kids. He went ahead a bought a balloon for him. The eyes of the little boy lit up. He ran off with the balloon jumping with joy. There was a smile on my husband's lips...

I fell in love with my husband.

***

Back home, once we were out shopping...

"Heyyy.. long time... How are you?" It was Shreya. We were friends from school... "And when did you get married?"She asked looking at my mangalsutra and the sindhoor on my forehead...

"Last month." I said.

"Woooowww... that is so amazing... Love marriage or arranged?" She asked.

"Arranged." I smiled.

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