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Showing posts from May, 2018

Of loss and love

The other day, we drove some 50 km (in Melbourne this is not far, given that we drive 100 kmph) to meet a remarkable lady. Melton, the suburb she lives in, is not very exciting and the typical gloomy winter day did not help either. But when we arrived at the door, we were greeted by this very affable soul. Her home was lit up with warm yellow lights, the soft sound of bhajans (devotional music) playing in the background and a tray of snacks I could not resist from. At a glance, Ravinder Kaur’s life resonates with loss. You even wonder how she is able to put up a smile given that life has not been easy at all right from the start. She grew up in Jalandhar and like every other woman got married on time - there is so much emphasis on getting married young in India. But when she was pregnant, her husband left her without any notice. He went off to Dubai and sent a divorce notice to her. Unable to take in the shock, she chose to stay married till he appeared before her in person and

Smart solution

There is a very bubbly side to Deepti Aggarwal, Melbourne’s now popular research scientist who made news recently for her invention of the ‘smart socks’. Aggarwal brushes off the fact that she is popular but says the publicity has at least given her the possibilities of, say, getting some funding and extending her project. As part of her PhD (which she has just completed) at the University of Melbourne, Aggarwal was studying the current practices of video consultations and the challenges that physiotherapists face. “From that study it occurred that lower body movements are more difficult to understand over video and hence we need a technology that can help physiotherapists to understand patients better, that’s how I came up with this idea of socks,” she says. After working with a team of engineers, Aggarwal developed the smart socks in about six months’ time making sure that the design was comfortable for patients and the interface provided sufficient data to help both physiother

Raw devotion

Not everyone can boast of such a sweet memory from childhood. Parvyn Kaur Singh was ten-years old when Michael Jackson, the deceased King of Pop, came to perform at the Adelaide Oval as part of the H ISt ory World Tour in 1996. Parvyn and her two sisters were among the lucky children selected to welcome Jackson at the red carpet. Dressed in traditional Punjabi suits, the sisters, on an impulse, started to chant the Mool Mantra (first hymn in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of the Sikhs) as soon as Jackson showed up. He stopped, listened, and walked on. But for Parvyn and her sisters, the surreal moment did not end there. Suddenly, one of Jackson’s assistants walked up to them and said ‘Michael wants to meet you properly’. She took them through security to Jackson’s presidential suite where they came face to face with the man the world was crazy about. “He asked who we were and what we were singing,” recalls Parvyn, adding, “He also wanted to take photos with us, someth