Today is the Indian festival of Lohri also known in parts of India as Makar Sankranti. For many reasons I love this festival, one of them being that it falls right around my birthday!! Makar Sankranti is celebrated with prayers to Surya or Sun God and it marks the first day of sun’s transit or winter solstice and the start of longer days. It is one of the few Indian festivals observed according to solar cycle, while most festivals are set my lunar cycle of the Hindu calendar.
It is celebrated as Lohri in North India to mark the end of peak winter season and also farmers in Punjab begin their financial year on this day. Like most Hindu festivals, this one also is celebrated with delicious array of sweets that are different in different parts of India.
In Gujarat where I come from, we celebrate Makar Sankarnti by flying kites. It is the biggest kite flying day when everyone is on the terraces of their homes or apartments and flying kites and trying to bring down other kites. As preparation, for days vendors are busy selling colorful kites to the buyers who go home and soak the string with glass powder so they can cut the strings of other kites.
Here’s my little #Gujarati poem
સર સર સર સર ઉડે મારી પતંગ
એ ઊંચે ઊડતી જાય ને હરખાય
ઘડીક નીચે ડૂબકી મારે મારી પતંગ
ફરી ઉડે, જાણે હવામાં તરતી જાય
લીલા લાલ રંગે ચગતી મારી પતંગ
પાનખર આજે આભ ને મળવા જાય
Loosely translated in English as
Sir sir sir sir flies my kite
Higher it goes out of site
For a second, dives down my kite
And flies as if swimming in flight
In red green orange colors, my kite
As if autumn is falling upward to meet the Gods
Marsh Theater at 1062 Valencia in San Francisco is a friendly, laid back, 110 seat theater attached to a community art center, and is surrounded by stunning shops, cafes, lovely fusion food places, and avant garde artistic shops. The theater itself is a lovely place for writers and performers to easily develop no-frill performances.
In a recent performance that I attended, “A History of WWII: The D-Day Invasion to the Fall of Berlin”, multi award-winning actor and playwright, John Fisher took the audience on a whirlwind journey of or the WWII from the period between allied invasion of Normandy to the Fall of Berlin. Much happened during the short time period between June, 1944 and May, 1945 that finally marked the end of Hitler and the fall of Berlin.
This is a fascinating 85 minutes performance that takes the audience through the final year of the war, when some of the most fateful battles were fought. Fisher is recipient of several awards and in this fast paced solo performance, he does an incredible job of taking the audience through many of the war’s most crucial battles, generals, decisions and throws in information about books and movies that have memorialized these key battles. I will highly recommend this performance for World War II buffs.
Tickets for this show can be obtained at www.themarsh.org .
I was so fascinated by Fisher’s show that afterwards I went through my notes and learned more details about all the fascinating stories he shared in the show. I have attempted to summarize some of that history below for anyone wanting a ready reference of the crucial final year of the war.
History of WWI: The D-Day Invasion to the Fall of Berlin
The Battle of Dunkirk, fought in France, in 1940s had shown that the British had great air force and navy but lacked superior army power to win the war. Fortunately, Hitler’s army halted their advance at the time and it gave the Allies sufficient time to organize the Dunkirk Evacuation where more than 330,000 troops were rescued and it allowed the Allies to build a defensive line. United States was sitting on the side lines. On December 7, 1942, Japanese bombed the American fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. US continued to maintain formal neutrality, mostly supplying ammunition. Japanese forces pursuing territorial expansionism, bombed the American fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. That woke the sleeping giant. The day after Pearl Harbor, the US Congress officially declared war on Japan, and was followed by Britain. Three days later, Germany declared war on the United States. In the end, the US involvement changed the course of the War.
After referring to the history that led to United States joining the war, Fisher goes on play act scenes from the war, as shown in many war movies. In one of the final battles, the allied forces from US, Britain, Canada and Free French forces (later joined by contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece and the Netherlands joined the ground campaign and landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 through parachutes, supported by massive air attacks and naval bombardments. Hitler then made a fateful strategic decision. In the aftermath of a failed coup, he recalled General Van Kluge General Kluge feared Hitler’s wrath and killed himself and that was German army’s great loss. Fisher’s description of the failed coup on Hitler, provided much comic relief, in this war story. It is amazing that his dissenting generals made multiple errors in carrying out one of the most impactful acts of their lives.
Fisher goes on to tell the story of Operation Market Garden, an unsuccessful military operation fought in the Netherlands, planned and led by the British Army, with an objective to seize a series of nine key bridges that could provide the Allies with an invasion route into Germany. While the Allies succeeded in the liberation of several bridges, they failed to secure the last bridge, over the Rhine and thus failed to cross the Rhine. This failed attempt is memorialized in the film, “A Bridge Too Far”. Fisher also gives out names of several reference books on the subject. Germans were still losing but they had not lost the will.
Launched through the densely forested region in Belgium and Luxembourg, The Battle of the Bulge, was the last major German campaign against the Allies. Germans intended to split the Allied lines. Due to allied overconfidence and negligence of this region, American forces manned by division of 16 and 17 year olds, bore the greatest brunt of the attack and American forces incurred their highest casualties of any operation during the war. This has been memorialized in the book, “The Ghost Front” written by twin brothers who survived the attack. Fortunately for the Allies, the battle also severely depleted Germany’s armored forces. The “Bulge” was the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States in World War II and the second deadliest battle in American history.
However, until the Battle of the Bulge, America mostly provided resources and fire power. It was Russia that provided the blood, swet, and tears. Stalin was completely oblivious to the suffering and decimation of his troops. Despite significant losses, he continued to provide an inexhaustible supply of troops and ordered Soviet forces to “fight to the last man”, although women also participated in the battle. He also issues, “Not One Step Backward!” rule, which decreed that cowards were to be “liquidated on the spot.” In the end, while America lost slightly more than 400,000 soldiers (killed or missing) and almost no civilians during World War II, the USSR is believed to have lost at least 11,000,000 soldiers (killed and missing) as well as somewhere between 7,000,000 and 20,000,000 million of its civilians. While growing up, Fisher was fascinated by the war and by German generals speaking in interesting accent. But as the story gets closer to the end, the huge cost of war in terms of the lives lost, hangs in the air like a crude reality.
Despite enormous payout in terms of lives lost, Stalin’s ambitions were not contained and in the final stages of the fall of Berlin, there was a “Race to Berlin”, a sort of competition to enter Berlin between two Soviet marshals who separately commanded their armies to drive their men as fast as they could. Meanwhile American generals Montomery, Patton and even the Brits wanted to continue the advance into Berlin. But Eisenhower made a different choice. He wished to avoid further American casualties which were estimated to be around 100,000 American men, if they were to compete for Berlin. Eisenhower also wished to honor the agreement made with the Soviets at the Yalta Conference and allow Stalin to exert control over Berlin. The Americans leaving Berlin for the Soviets, enabled the Soviets to take the lead, and after the bloody “Battle of Berlin” (where the Soviets engaged in many atrocities and war crimes), the Soviets prevailed. This forever changed the course of history. Soviets implemented The Iron Curtain, both sides began the race for nuclear arms, and the ensuing Cold War lasted nearly 45 years.
Producer Adam McKay’s VICE explores the epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider, Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), quietly rises to become the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell), reshaping the country and the globe with far reaching and long lasting impact to future generations. VICE is a film that matches McKay’s wildly original “The Big Short” about three years back.
While VICE is both angry and informative like it’s predecessor “The Big Short”, unlike the predecessor, VICE does not share implementable insights for ordinary folks. VICE has opened to some mixed reviews and so I will mention and acquiese to the criticisms first. At times VICE feels disjointed as it jumps between time periods, interspersed with wacky methaphors. It also becomes apparent very early that McKay’s concern with telling Cheney’s story or the story of the country and the world that Cheney impacted, pales in comparison to McKay’s anger towards us, the audience. We, the citizens are reproached for having greater interest in entertainment than in the affairs of the government, things that “really” matter. This is where he begins the story and that is where he ends and given what is happening in the country today, I would forgive McKay for blaming the citizens.
In VICE, McKay has a formidable challenge. As the film shows Cheney’s rise to power, it also weaves in years’ of political history of the country. The forces that shaped the climate and allowed Cheney to consolidate his power, began long before Cheney came on the political scene in any serious manner. In fact, McKay traces the conservative forces shaping the political climate in the country, all the way to 1980s. And as he goes through Reagan and Senior G.H.W. Bush years, Cheney is shown to be going through his own transformation. At first, a good for nothing “dirtbag”, aided and supported by his ambitions wife, Lynne (Amy Adams), Cheney focus on amassing power and fortune. It is from Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell), Cheney got earlier lessons in looking at Washington as a ruthless, zero sum political place where winners displace losers and policy takes a backseat to power.
Cheney began his political career as an intern to a Congressman and then worked his way into the White House during Nixon and Ford administrations. He served as Secretary of Defense to George H.W. Bush. He was out of the political scene during Clinton years, when he assumed the role of Chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company. In 2000, Cheney was chosen by George W. Bush, as his running mate and has been cited as the most powerful Vice President in American history. McKay telling the story of how Cheney rises to this level and then consolidates his power is nothing short of amazing. Using the fly fishing metaphor, McKay shows how Cheney put a small hook and then gradually draws in his prey. Even as he dies several times, mostly politically, but also endures several heart attacks, Cheney comes back, with more powerful lessons on consolidating power, strongly aligned to the brand of conservatism that seems only to consume, even if it destroys future generations.
Latching on to an obscure theory, propelled by some conservative judges like (Scalia), and made popular by the conservative media, Cheney finds panacea to all political challenges that stand in his way of consolidating his power, in Unitary Executive Theory. Rooted in Article Two of the US Constitution, the theory vests “the executive power” of the United States in the President. Though broadly accepted, it is assumed to be circumscribed by some boundaries of strength and scope. In the aftermath of 9/11, Cheney took advantage of the public anger and sentiment to “do something” and vastly expanded the strength and scope of the power of the President. By his own agreement with the President, Cheney then had the unilateral power that he used for wiretapping by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the enhanced interrogation techniques that included waterboarding, among other things. Cheney is said to have said, “We need to think in a new way about these low-probability, high-impact events; If there’s even a 1 percent chance that WMD have landed in the hands of the terrorists, we need to treat it as a certainty”. He masterminded the pressure on naysayers in the Bush Cabinet, including Condoleezza Rice (LisaGay Hamilton) and Colin Powell (Tyler Perry). Despite no clear evidence of WMD, Powell was pressured to give a speech in the UN regarding strong evidence of WMD which he later described as his most painful moment of his political career.
Despite the fact that none of the 9/11 terrorists came from Iraq, the United State’s war on Iraq eventually cost 189,000 direct war deaths, nearly 5000 deaths of U.S. service personnel, in addition to 32,000+ troops coming back with injuries, not including PTSD. US spent over $1.7 Trillion in this war. Nearly, 134,000 Iraqi civilians lost their lives in this war and 655,000 people who have died in Iraq since the invasion that would not have died if the invasion had not occurred.
So what did we gain from the Iraq war? Who gained from the war, if not the Iraqi civilians or the American citizens?
Contractors, primarily Halliburton company has reaped over $140 billion from US invasion of Iraq. In the end, the movie will leave you feeling both deeply sad and angry. Cheney’s brand of conservatism, his generation of mostly while males, stole from the future to enrich themselves. (Certainly not saying that all while men are evil and in fact it is with the support of dedicated men and women, white and black, that our country will always face the challenges head-on and after the challenges, will always emerge better and stronger). The cascading impact of actions of Cheney, Rumsfeld and others, very likely threw the country into a deep recession and eventually impacted lives of several future generations. AND HERE IS WHERE I HAVE A MESSAGE FOR MCKAY. Not it is not the concern with entertainment that keeps the citizens busy and unconcerned with what goes on. It is not even boredom with tiresome facts that are not revealed all at once. It is our preoccupation with making ends meet, with getting two square meals on the table for the families, that keeps us so woefully unprepared for devilish machinations of our elected leaders.
VICE is a not-to-miss movie of this holiday season. The film has received several Golden Globe awards and numerous nominations. It is great entertainment along with powerful history lesson for free. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I rate the movie as 4.9.
તમારી અનન્ય પ્રતિભા ને ઉજવવાના ના દિવસે બ્રોન્ટ બહેનો ની પ્રેરણાદાયક વાર્તા સાંભળો. દર શનિવારે મારી દ્રષ્ટિકોણ કોલમ ઉપર નવા નવા વિષયો અને વિવિધ દ્રષ્ટિકોણ થી મારી યુટ્યુબ ચેનલ ઉપર સાંભળવા મળશે અને શબ્દોનુંસર્જન બ્લોગ ઉપર વાંચવા મળશે. કોમેન્ટ લખીને ને તમારા વિચાર જરૂર જણાવશો.
On “celebrate your unique talent day” I shared in #Gujarati, the inspiring story of Bronte sisters passion to write, despite cultural norms banning the women from writing or engaging in intellectual pursuits. Their gift to English literature is enjoyed by several generations after the sisters are gone.
મિત્રો હું દર્શના વારિયા નાડકર્ણી તમને બેઠક માં, દ્રષ્ટિકોણ ની કોલમ ઉપર આવકારું છું.
દસ વર્ષ સુધીનું મારુ બાળપણ ઇથિયોપિયા માં વીત્યું. ત્યાં રેડિયા માં ઇન્ડિયન ગીતો આવતા નહિ અને મારા ઘર માં સંગીત વહેતુ નહિ. અને ચિત્રકામ માં પણ એવી મારી ખાસ આવડત હતી નહિ. દસ વર્ષ ની વયે ભારત આવ્યા પછી હું પણ અન્ય લોકોની જેમ રેડિયો સાંભળવા લાગી અને પછી તો મને નાનો રેડિયો પણ ભેટ મળ્યો અને હું ફિલ્મી દુનિયા બોલિવૂડ ગીતો અને નૃત્ય ની દીવાની બની. મને પણ વાજિન્દ્રો વગાડતા અને ગાતા શીખવું હતું. મેં ભારતનાટ્યમ ન્રત્ય શીખવાના કલાસ શરુ કર્યા। સંગીત માટે પહેલા તો મેં ઘર માં હાર્મોનિયમ લેવડાવ્યું અને સુગમ સંગીત ના શિક્ષિકા બહેન ઘરે આવવા લાગ્યા. પછી મને થયું કે જો મારે ખરેખર સંગીત શીખવું હોય તો મારે શાસ્ત્રીય સંગીત શીખવું જોઈએ. તેના કલાસ ભરવાના ચાલુ કર્યા પછી મને લાગ્યું કે કદાચ મારામાં ગાવાની આવડત ન હોય અને આમેય કદાચ સંગીત ના…
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My #Gujarati articles on the theme of perspective “દ્રષ્ટિકોણ”, are published each Saturday on Pragna Dadbhawala’s blog shabdonusarjan. So far I have published articles on subjects like “celebrate your unique talent”, “short period of peace during World War I”, “Pause before posting flaming news in FB & What’s App” and more…. And feel free to check out various other articles, poems, play & movie reviews, technology related articles and more on my original blog darshanavnadkarni at wordpress site.
મિત્રો આ ચેનલ અને કોલમ ઉપર મારા અને બેઠક તરફથી તમને સૌને ભાવભર્યું સ્વાગત છે. તમે નીચેના લિંક ઉપર માત્ર વાંચી નહિ સાંભળી પણ શકશો.
આ કોલમ ઉપર દ્રષ્ટિકોણ ઉપર આપણે કૈંક વાત કરીશું. ઘણી વાર જિંદગી, તેમાં રહેલા પાત્રો અને સંજોગો ને એક નિશ્ચિત નજરે જોવાથી આપણે ઘણું ગુમાવીએ છીએ. જયારે બીજી દ્રષ્ટિ થી, બીજી વ્યક્તિના દ્રષ્ટિકોણ થી અને ક્યારેક જુદા વિષય વિષે જાણવા અને શીખવાથી આપણે જિંદગી માં અનુભૂતિ કેળવી શકીએ છીએ અને તે ઉપરાંત દ્રષ્ટિકોણ વિસ્તારવાથી જિંદગી માણવાનો પણ વિસ્તાર વધે છે.
સ્ટીવન કોવી નામના એક જાણીતા લેખક અને શિક્ષકે એક વખત આ દાખલો આપેલો. એક વખત એક વ્યક્તિ ટ્રેન માં પ્રવાસ કરતા હતા અને કોઈ સ્ટેશન ઉપર એક પિતા તેના ત્રણ બાળકો ને લઈને ચડ્યા. ટ્રેન માં ચડ્યા પછી તે ભાઈ તેમની કોણી બેઠક ના હાથ ઉપર મૂકીને તેમના હાથ માં માથું મૂકીને બેઠા. એવું લાગ્યું કે તે સુવાની કોશિશ કરતા હતા. આ બાજુ તેમના…
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Please see some of my current opportunities below. All opportunities are for local candidates with valid work visa and most require deep industry experience. Contract opportunities are posted at the bottom. If you have an interest then please send an email (resume as an attachment) at wd_darshana at hot mail dot com. Please bookmark and keep checking here for updates on new opportunities.
Senior Manufacturing Engineer – San Jose, CA
There is an exciting opportunity for senior mechanical engineer with 12+ years experience in broad range automation, design process and improve manufacturing efficiency, in a company located in San Jose, CA
Senior Quality Engineer – San Jose, CA
There is exciting opportunity for Senior Quality Engineer with 10+ years experience in class 3 medical device company, in San Jose, CA.
Senior Mechanical Engineer – San Jose, CA
There is an exciting opportunity for senior mechanical engineer with class 3 device experience, for a company located in San Jose, CA
Head of Clinical – San Jose, CA
There is an exciting opportunity for head of clinical (actual hiring will happen in 2nd quarter in 2019).
Head of Regulatory – San Jose, CA
There is an exciting opportunity for Head of Regulatory for a company, in San Jose – CA. Candidate must have 15+ years experience in bio/pharma industry. Experience working with biologics and taking a drug to market in the US and EU is essential.
Mechanical Engineer – Santa Cruz, CA
Company focusing on an array of brain computer interface devices to address a range of neurological problems has an opening for Mechanical engineer.
Head of Manufacturing Engineering – San Jose, CA
There is an exciting opportunity for Head of Manufacturing Engineering in San Jose, CA. This is an exciting opportunity with high potential.
Responsibilities include, implementing pilot manufacturing line, develop components & assembly manufacturing processes including materials science and selection, develop processes for injection molding, conventional & novel polymers, micro-product molding, converting & sealing plastic films, micro-tablet compression, clean room processing & large molecule processing.
Required: BS in Engineering plus 12+ years of mechanical engineering experience in medical device industry. Any of the following, highly desired: Experience in consumer product medical device, pharmaceutical (transdermal and solid dosage), and combination product design, manufacturing process development, manufacturing equipment design and development, pharmaceutical and sterile device packaging development, 3-D metal and plastic product design, tooling design and fabrication, injection mold design and fabrication, CNC and g-code programming, production engineering management, maintenance management, manufacturing management, and project management and experience in new product launches through heritage product manufacturing.
Software Engineer – Santa Cruz, CA
Company focusing on an array of brain computer interface devices to address a range of neurological problems has an opening for SW engineer. Embedded microprocessor experience and windows app experience is required. Highly preferred, design/coding experience for embedded systems with wearable/motor-driven devices.
CFO – San Jose, CA
There is an exciting opportunity for CFO for a company, in San Jose – CA. Found by a veteran leader the company focuses on disruptive drug delivery platform technology. 15+ years M&A and licensing deals experience in bio/pharma industry is required.
Director of Program/ Project Management – Santa Cruz, CA
There is an exciting opportunity for Director of Program/ Project Management for a company located in Santa Cruz – CA. This company is found by a veteran leader and focuses on an array of brain computer interface devices to address a range of neurological problems. Candidate is required to have 4+ years of medical device program or project management experience in electromechanical systems area.
Design QA Scientist – Pleasanton, CA.
Responsibilities: Support DQA Principal Scientists and Project teams; Review & approve documentation consistent with design control regulations; technical verification, risk; Assist DQA project team to assess completion of milestone deliverables; Assist in the review and development of high SOPs; Support audits/inspections; Other duties as requested.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or related scientific discipline, or equivalent combination of education and work-related experience.
Preferred: Job-related Professional License(s) or Certification(s) and 5 Years Development, Manufacturing and/or Quality Assurance experience under established quality regulations.
Clinical Research Associate II – California
Responsibilities include, participate in design, planning, implementation and overall direction of clinical research projects; ensure compliance with the overall scientific study objectives; work with international investigators and key customers as well; Travel to field sites to monitor studies; Receive general instructions; plans and prepare studies; Review study protocols, report manuscripts; Contribute technical & clinical operations expertise for these documents; Work with Data Management & Biostatistics staff on the design of documents and processes for the collection of study data from participating sites; Collect & maintain legal and regulatory documentation, as applicable; Assume responsibility for training & coordinating certification of study site personnel; Ensure accurate and complete study management/data collection and transfer to data management; Ensure site compliance with regulations and study protocol; Monitor the sites and provide technical assistance, as necessary; Assist, prepare and manages study timelines; Manage material logistics for the studies; Conduct reference material testing in-house. Organize investigator meetings, as necessary; Participate in Project Team Meetings; Keep informed of trends and developments in clinical research; Know & effectively use the broad concepts of a particular field or speicalization to resolve problems of limited scope and complexity; Analyze alternative approaches to solve problems or devleop new perspectives & existing solutions. Bachelors degree in a scientific discipline or related field, or equivalent combination of education and work experience is required. Certificate of completion of sections 1 through 6 is required. Minimum 2-6 years of relevant clinical research experience and knowledge of regulations and guidelines is required.
Clerk – San Jose/ Santa Clara, CA
There is an opportunity for a Clerk in a biomed company, located in San Jose/ Santa Clara, CA area.
Responsibilities: Follow standard operating procedures to enter orders for high complexity clinical lab tests; Be responsible for efficient and accurate entry of customer and patient demographic data, clinical information, test request information and physician information; Review, understanding, and executing customer-specific requirements for order entry; Create service requests in CRM system to document issues and work closely with client service team to resolve and escalate incomplete or unclear order issues; Check work of others to ensure order entry quality; Troubleshoot problems & assist employees with process questions; Fax requests to customers to resolve unclear orders; Run queue reports to ensure daily tasks are completed; Assist account set up administration; Act as training resource for department employees; execute process improvement recommendations; Retrieve forms from lab; Escalate issues to appropriate internal resources; Interact with Finance team to provide patient billing information in a secure manner.
Skills: 2+ years experience working in the clinical laboratory, medical, order management, or related field; Experience using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software (e.g. NetSuite, Salesforce.com), laboratory information systems. Microsoft Office Suite a plus. Must be able to follow laboratory procedures and must adhere to the laboratory quality control policies; Ability to identify & act on issues within an order that may impact customer satisfaction & test turnaround time; Must be able to type 45 words per minute with excellent accuracy; Must be able to lift up to 35 lbs.
RMD Biospecimen Scientist – Pleasanton, CA — 6 mo. contract
The BioSpecimen Management (BSM) Scientist position will facilitate the daily operations associated with providing the best-in-class simple biological solutions to customers. Biospecimen solutions include acquisition, characterization, and management of biological materials, and build of select panels fit for purpose for RMD research. Responsibilities include deliver simple, efficient solutions, facilitate receipt of shipments of human biological samples, verify sample integrity and data accuracy, process (centrifuge, aliquot, and pool) samples, consolidate inventory, retrieve and distribute samples, maintain inventory of supplies and ships supplies and facilitate routine activities in the build of custom panels, in close communication with team members. Also includes, responsibility for the accuracy, quality, and timeliness of all assigned projects, tasks and related activities, accontablity for electronic records management, use of validated systems, and keep supervisor informed of project status. Requires, Associate degree or certification in Biological Science or related field, or equivalent combination of education & experience, experience handling biological samples, understanding of good laboratory, data and documentation practices, and experience with basic computer application.
Scientist 1 – Pleasanton, CA: 6+ Months Contract
This opportunity is with NGS workflow controls for the RSS assay development team that identifies and tests cutting edge reagents, technologies or protocols that are supporting the development of products in Oncology, Genetics, Infectious Disease and Automation/Sample Preparation. Areas of interest include short and long read sequencing technologies, low input and difficult sample preparation methods and creating integrated workflows. Candidates must be able to work in a collaborative, exciting, and fast-paced team environment.
Responsibilities: Operate & maintain equipment, interact with LIMS databases, complete projects in a timely fashion, research & development, and give presentations at weekly meetings. Additional responsibilities: Operation of different genomics analysis technologies such as next-gen sequencing, microarrays, real time PCR and ancillary equipment for quality control and validation; Develop, validate & apply methods for various genomics methods mainly focused on sequencing; Process include nucleic acid isolation and quantification, PCR amplification, library preparation, plate normalizations and Work with senior personnel, perform early development activity to create new workflows that are robust, cost-effective and time efficient; Collaborate with R&D to transfer new assays and methods to automation platforms; Work closely with IT group and instrument vendors to develop and implement automated workflows; Accurately and consistently record experimental methods, materials & results in electronic laboratory notebooks; Analyze data, evaluates results, form conclusions, and determine future experiments; Present findings or comprehensive project status reviews at internal/external seminars/meetings; Apply advanced technical writing & graphical skills to produce reports & documents; Prepare summaries, reports, presentations, manuscripts, etc.; Present early development work including scientific background information & project updates at internal staff meetings and at cross-functional team meetings; Determine all chemicals, reagents & supplies needed for a project; develop a strong knowledge of all related third-party vendors and their technologies and products; Establish and maintain productive relationship with personnel in development; orient & trains new Research Technicians & peers.
Requirements: Strong Molecular Biology background or Biochemistry or Immunology background with strong knowledge of Molecular Biology; Experience performing next-generation sequencing methods (Exome, whole genome, RNA sequencing) a plus; Bachelor of Science with a minimum of 2 years of lab experience.
The Hate U Give is a movie based on Angie Thomas’s award-winning book about the experience of Starr Carter, a black teen who witnesses the fatal police shooting of a close friend. Directed by George Tillman Jr. and written by Audrey Wells, the movie tells the story of race and racism, powerfully and without putting people into well defined buckets. It does not encapsulate “one black experience” of police suspicion and brutality towards black people, in a single story, and it does not summarize “one white reaction”, with a single story. Instead, in telling the story of a young black teenager against the backdrop of police suspicion of black people, father preparing his black children with stern lectures on how to behave during inevitable police stops; against the backdrop of white privilege, upward mobility, gang wars, poverty, and drugs, the movie offers a powerful portrayal of what it often means to grow up black in America.
Not all black people have a single story and not all grow up in poverty or in gang infested neighborhoods, or in dysfunctional homes. And yet, society often notices the color of the skin, before noticing the individual person, in that skin. Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) is a black teen. After a brief brush with criminal justice system and bad influence, her father (Russell Hornsby) owns and operates a store in a largely black neighborhood. It is on account of her mother’s (Regina Hall) determination, persistence, and relentless focus on education, and mom’s determination to change the circumstances and preempt the dysfunctionality in her family from affecting her children, that Starr’s future looks bright. Starr and her two brothers (Dominque Fishback and Lamar Johnson) attend the affluent, predominantly white prep school, and for a while appear to be completely shielded from the experiences of other black people around them.However, an unfortunate incident puts the family right in the center of it all. One evening, Starr is driven home from a party in her neighborhood, by her childhood friend, Khalil (Algee Smith). On the way home, they are stopped by a white police officer and unarmed Khalil is shot without any prominent reason. As the city erupts in riots, Starr has her own soul searching to do. Her friend Khalil is maligned because he was involved in drug peddling as he was taking care of his family while his mother was going through cancer treatments.
Amandla Stenberg is fantastic as Starr. This movie is immensely powerful because it focuses on the individual story of a young teen so well that it is through her experience, that we get a peek into the ignorance of some of her white friends as well as the openness of others. It is through her experience, that we learn, that it is not just a single major trauma of seeing a friend killed by gangs or by cops, that a young person is scarred. Instead, it is also the exhausting seeping of energy, drop by drop by drop. As an upwardly mobile person, Starr feels the pressure to hide her “blackness” from her non black peers, and her acquired “whiteness” from her black friends. Being half a person at any give time and living half the truth in each circumstance, takes an enormous toll and builds upon all the other traumas. It is through her experience that we learn how society has created two separate worlds, where even black cops are suspicious of black folks. In the end, this is a film about how one girl finds her own voice and opens the door to living a more authentic life. Not that it will be easy. But finally Starr finds the freedom to be her complete self, regardless of the context in which she interacts.
This is one of the best films of the year. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent, I rate the film 4.9.
It’s remarkably powerful, it’s touching, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it’s intimate, it’s deeply personal and political at the same time. Based on autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, the play Fun Home focuses on the theme of sexual identity. Through very powerful and familial context of father-daughter relationship, the musical explores the cost of living in the closet and the possibilities that open up, on coming out. Fun Home has won several awards including Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Obie, Award, and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and has garnered five Tony Awards including “Best Musical”.
While prejudice remains as a dark and ugly presence in the world today, Fun Home helps us see the costs that societies, families and generations bear due to hidden and overt biases. Born in 1930s, a husband and father, Bruce Bechdel (James Lloyd Reynolds) lives a closeted life. A caring husband and father, Bruce hides a big secret that diminishes his accomplishments, at least in his own mind. He channels his frustration into an obsession with cleanliness, obsession with dressing his daughter in girlie attire and looking for secret avenues to fulfill his desire. He has built a beautiful family with his wife, Helen Bechdel (Crissy Guerrero), his sons, Christian (Jack Barrett, Dylan Kento Curtis), John (Billy Hutton, Oliver Copaken Yellin), and his daughter Alison. The play mainly centers on his relationship with his daughter, Alison. Moira Stone (as narrator Alison), Lila Gold (as young Alison), and Erin Kommor (as older Alison) are all super fabulous in their roles and vividly bring out the complex father-daughter dynamics at various stages in the story. When Alison grows up and goes away to college, she meets Joan (Ayelet Firstenberg) and experiences love’s first stirrings. Terrified and excited, Alison tries to quosh the feelings at first and later explores them and comes out as a lesbian.
Special kudos to scenic designer, Andrea Bechert, fabulous stage manager, Randall K. Lum and assistant stage manager, Emily Anderson Wolf for beautiful staging and scenes. Robert Kelley is a brilliant director and in Fun Home, the story of impact of prejudice is brilliantly told.
Somewhere between the father who felt compelled to live a lie his whole life, and a daughter who finds the environment and courage to seek fulfillment on her own terms, lie the simple truths about both the suffering and cost of having to hide who you truly are, and the joy of embracing your whole self. Great kudos to Alison Bechdel for embracing her whole self and finding to courage to share the story. It was Lisa Kron who was an early fan of the story and with Bechdel’s blessing, teamed up with composer Jeanine Tesori and adapted the graphic novel for the stage, as a musical. In blending this beautiful human story told through pictures with stirring lyrics, the trio has carved a straight path to the human heart.
This is a not-to-miss play of this theater season. Tickets are available at www.theatreworks.org .
વાહ વાહ. શ્રી પ્રતાપભાઈ પંડ્યા, મનીષાબેન પંડ્યા, પ્રજ્ઞાબેન દાદભાવાલા, શરીફભાઇ અને સપનાબેન વિજાપુરા વગેરે મહાનુભાવો અને ગુજરાતી ગઝલપ્રેમીઓના સૌજન્યથી સુંદર કાર્યક્રમ યોજવાયો અને પ્રખ્યાત ગઝલકાર શ્રી અદમભાઈ ટંકારવી ને માણવાનો મોકો મળ્યો તે માટે સૌનો ખુબ ખુબ આભાર. થોડાજ સમય પહેલા કવિશ્રી અનિલભાઈ ચાવડા અને મુકેશભાઈ જોશીને માણવાનો ખુબજ સુંદર મોકો મળ્યો. તે વખતે તો મને લખવાનો સમય ન મળ્યો। પણ એ હૃદય ની તૃપ્તિ કરાવે તેવો સુંદર કાર્યક્રમ યોજવા માટે જયશ્રીબેન મરચન્ટ નો પણ ખુબ આભાર. બેઠક અને પુસ્તક પરબ દ્વારા થતી પ્રવૃતિ, અને તે ઉપરાંત અન્ય આયોજકો, પ્રાયોજકો અને આપણી ભાષાના ચાહકો, આપણી સુંદર માતૃભાષાને જીવંત જ નહિ પરંતુ ગતિમય રાખીને આપણી ભાષાની ધરોહર સાંચવી રહ્યા છે. આવી અવિસ્મરણીય હાસ્ય રમૂજ સાથે માણેલી ગઝલોની ગુંજાશ ક્યારેય ભુલાશે નહિ. અદમભાઈએ પ્રસ્તુત કરીયેલી થોડી ગઝલો અહીં મારા વાચકો માટે પ્રસ્તુત કરું છું. તે પહેલા – એક જાહેરાત – મારા ગુજરાતી લેખો દર શનિવારે http://www.shabdonusarjan.wordpress.com બ્લોગ ઉપર “દ્રષ્ટિકોણ” ના શીર્ષક હેઠળ મળશે અને તેમાં વિવિધ વિષયો અને વિવિધ દ્રષ્ટિકોણથી વાત થાય છે. તે ઉપરાંત, યૂટ્યૂબ માં પણ મારા નામ હેઠળ મારા કાવ્યો અને વિવિધ વિષયો ઉપરનું ચિંતન જોવા મળશે. અને મારા આ બ્લોગ http://www.darshanavnadkarni.wordpress.com ઉપર તો હું લખતીજ રહું છું.
સપનાબેન વિજાપુરાએ વિસરાય જતી માતૃભાષાને બિરદાવતી અદમભાઈ ની ગઝલ સાથે કવિશ્રીનો પરિચય આપ્યો અને કાર્યક્રમ ની સુંદર શરૂઆત કરી.
ગુર્જરી વ્યવહાર શોધું છું,
ધાણીફૂટ બોલનાર શોધું છું.
લખી છે ગુજરાતીમાં એક ગઝલ,
ને હવે વાંચનાર શોધું છું.
જડી છે એક લાવારીસ ભાષા,
હું એનો દાવેદાર શોધું છું.
જામ ભાષાનો છલોછલ છે’અદમ’,
સાથે બેસી પીનાર શોધું છું.
અદમભાઈએ મનોજ ખંડેરિયાની શબ્દો સાથેના કવિ ના પ્રેમ ના ગાઢ સબંધ ની વાત કરતી ગઝલ પેશ કરી.
રસમ અહીંની જુદી, નિયમ સાવ નોખા
અમારે તો શબ્દો જ કંકુ ને ચોખા
પણ શબ્દોને હંમેશા બહાર થોડા શોધવા જવા પડે છે? એ તો અંતર ના સુખ, દુઃખ, વ્યથા, વેદના અને ઉમળકાને વાચા આપે છે. પણ શબ્દોનો ભરોસો કેવો? ક્યારેક કલમ પકડો અને હાથ આખેઆખો બળે અને ક્યારેક બહાર જે શોધવામાં આખી જિંદગી પસાર થાય એ પગની તળે હોય એમ પણ બને. અદમભાઈ એ શ્રી મનોજભાઈ ખંડેરિયા ની નીચેની ગઝલ પ્રસ્તુત કરી.
પકડો કલમ ને કોઈ પળે એમ પણ બને
આ હાથ આખેઆખો બળે એમ પણ બને
જ્યાં પહોંચવાની ઝંખના વર્ષોથી હોય ત્યાં
મન પહોંચતાં જ પાછું વળે એમ પણ બને
એવું છે થોડું : છેતરે રસ્તા કે ભોમિયા ?
એક પગ બીજા ને છળે એમ પણ બને
જે શોધવામાં જિંદગી આખી પસાર થાય
ને એ જ હોય પગની તળે એમ પણ બને
તું ઢાળ ઢોળિયો : હું ગઝલનો દિવો કરું
અંધારું ઘરને ઘેરી વળે એમ પણ બને
આમ જોઈએ તો કોક શબ્દોના બેસુમાર વરસાદ માં છબછબીયા રમે છે ને કોક બારીએ બેસીને માણે છે ગુજલીશ માં લખતા કવિ અદમભાઈએ આદિલ મન્સૂરી ની સુંદર કવિતા ની પંક્તિઓ સંભળાવી.
રેઇનકોટ, છત્રીઓ, ગમ શૂઝ, વોટરપ્રૂફ હેટ્સ
માનવીએ કેટલી ભીંતો ચણી વરસાદમાં !
એક તું છે કે તને કંઇ પણ નથી થાતી અસર,
ભેટવા દરિયાને ઊછળે છે નદી વરસાદમાં.
લાખ બચવાના કર્યા એણે પ્રયત્નો તે છતાં
છેવટે ‘આદિલ’ હવા પલળી ગઇ વરસાદમાં.
શબ્દોની મીઠાસ ખરેખરી માણવી હોય, તેની વેદના હૃદયસોંસરવી નીકળે તેવી નિકટતાથી જાણવી હોય અને મહોબત ને નજીકથી ઓળખવી હોય તો નજીક આવી ને કાન માં સાંભળવાનો મોકો લેવો જોઈએને? તો માણો રમેશભાઈ પારેખ ની સુંદર ગઝલ.
ઓણુકા વરસાદમાં બે ચીજ કોરી કટ,
એક અમે પોતે ને બીજો તારો વટ!
નેવા નીચે ઓસરી, આંખો નીચે ગાલ,
નખથી નક્ષત્રો સુધી જળ આંબ્યું આ સાલ.
વાવાઝોડું હોય તો કરીએ બંધ કમાડ,
આ તો ઘરમાં પાડતું જળનું ટીપું ધાડ.
નખ ઉગ્યા અંધારને, ભીંતે ઉગી દાઢ,
ઉપર મારે આંચકા અણિયાળો આષાઢ.
તારા વટને કચ્છની સૂડી સરખી ધાર,
અમે કમળની દાંડલી કરીએ શું તકરાર?
મીરાં કહે કે સાંવરા, વાગે વીજળી બહુ,
બીજું શું શું થાય તે આવ, કાનમાં કહું.
પણ એ વટ ને થોડો સંકોરીને નજદીક આવવાની તૈયારી રાખવી પડે ને? તો નીચે પ્રસ્તુત છે રાજેન્દ્ર શુક્લા ની મસ્ત ગઝલ.
લો કરું કોશિશ ને ફાવે તો કહું,
શબ્દ જો એને સમાવે તો કહું !
આપની નજરો જે ફરમાવી રહી,
એ ગઝલ જો યાદ આવે તો કહું !
શાંત જળમાં એક પણ લહરી નથી,
કોઇ થોડું ખળભળાવે તો કહું !
હું કદી ઊંચા સ્વરે બોલું નહીં,
એકદમ નજદીક આવે તો કહું !
કોઇને કહેવું નથી, એવું નથી,
સહેજ તૈયારી બતાવે તો કહું
એ જયશ્રીબેન મરચન્ટ ની સુંદર ગઝલ મૂળ માંથી છોડ ને ઉખેડીને ચાલ્યા ગયા સાંભળીને અશ્રુ ટપકી પડ્યા. જયશ્રીબેન બે એરિયાના પ્રિય કવિયત્રી છે. તેમના અનેક પુસ્તકો પ્રકાશિત થઇ ચુક્યા છે. તેમના હૃદયસોંસરવા કાવ્યોમાં ઘણી વખત ઊંડા દર્દ નો અહેસાસ થાય છે. જરૂર તેમના કાવ્યોનો તેમના પુસ્તકો અને ફેસબુક ઉપર લાવો લેજો.
જો કે એવું એ નથી કે પ્રેમમાં પડવું જોઈએ –
અદમભાઈએ સંભળાવી મુકુલ ચોકસીની સુંદર ગઝલ
એવું નથી કે પ્રેમમાં પડવું જોઈએ
પણ જો પડો તો બેઉને પરવરવું જોઈએ
જો વાયદો ન પાડવાના હો તો પછી
બહાનું યે સારું કાઢતા આવડવું જોઈએ
અદમભાઈએ કવિશ્રી નસીરુદ્દીનજી ની મજાની વાતો કરી. આમેય કવિ અને સાહિત્યકારોનું મગજ એવું હોય કે તે દરેક ઘટના ને સામાન્ય લોકો જોવે તેનાથી કૈક અલગ દ્રષ્ટિકોણ થી જોઈને તેનો મર્મ સમજવાનો પ્રયત્ન કરે. તેમાંય કવિઓ તો પાછો અર્થ કાઢે તેને ઓછા માં ઓછા શબ્દો માં દર્શાવવાનો પ્રયાસ કરે. કવિઓ માટે એક સુંદર વાક્ય મેં ક્યાંક વાંચેલું – કે તેઓ આનંદમાં શરૂઆત કરે અને ડહાપણ માં પતાવે. નસીરુદ્દીનજી ની અને તેવા બીજા કેટલાય કવિઓની વાતો અને ગઝલો અદમભાઈ પાસેથી સાંભળી કે લાગ્યું કે આ વાક્ય આપણા ગુજરાતી કવિઓને બંધબેસતું છે.
આપણે કોઈને દિલ આપીએ ત્યારે પાછું લેવાનો વિચાર કરતા નથી અને પાછું લઈને માપવાનો તો વિચાર આવ્યોજ ન હોય. અદમભાઈએ રમૂજ અને હાસ્ય સાથે મનહર મોદી ની કાવ્યની પંક્તિઓ સંભળાવી.
દિલ તમોને આપતા આપી દીધું
પામતાં પાછું અમે માપી લીધું.
માત્ર એક જ ક્ષણ તમે રાખ્યું છતાં
ચોતરફથી કેટલું કાપી લીધું !
સપનાબેન વિજાપુરાએ તેમની સુંદર ગઝલ સંભળાવતા પ્રેક્ષકોને પડકાર કર્યો – આંસુને ખોળતા આવડે છે? તેમની ગઝલો અને કાવ્યો તેમના ફેસબુક ઉપર અને તેમના બ્લોગ ઉપર તેમજ પ્રતિલિપિ ઉપર અને અખબારોમાં આવે છે તો જરૂર માણજો।
અદમભાઈએ ખલિલ ધનતેરી ની, રઈસ મણિયાર ની ને એવા વિવિધ કવિઓની હાસ્ય અને રમૂજ ના કિસ્સાઓ સાથે ઘણી ઘણી ગઝલો સંભળાવી. એવો પીધો રમૂજ, ગઝલ અને કાવ્યોનો જામ કે દિલ જુમી ઉઠ્યું અને એવી દિલની લાગણીઓ તો ગઝલમાં જ દર્શાવાય ને? અદમભાઈની ટંકારવી ની ગઝલથી વિરમું છું.
તમને જોઈને મને જે થાય છે
બીજા શબ્દોમાં ગઝલ કહેવાય છે
તારા પરથી આ નજર ખસતી નથી
ને ખસે તો ત્યાંય તું દેખાય છે
આમ જો પૂછો તો તું સંદિગ્ધ છે
આમ તારો અર્થ પણ સમજાય છે
હુંય ક્યાં ક્યાં આવી શોધું છું તને
તુંય ક્યાં ક્યાં જઈ અને સંતાય છે ?
ના થવાનું હરપળે થાતું રહે
ને થવાનું ક્યાં કદીય થાય છે ?
લે, હવે ચૂપચાપ તું બેસી રહે
તું હવે ક્યાં પાંચમાં પૂછાય છે ?
થાય મારાથી શરુ પણ તે પછી
આ કથા તારા સુધી લબંાય છે
સૌની આંખોમાં આ એક જ પ્રશ્ન છે
અમને મૂકીને બધાં ક્યાં જાય
Playwright Karen Zacaria’s “Native Gardens”, currently playing at The Center for Performing Arts in Mountain View, explores ageism, racism, sexism, classism, republicanism, democratism and more in the context of an unintended property line conflict among neighbors.
Tania (Marlene Martinez) and Pablo Del Valle (Michael Evans Lopez) are young, up and coming Latino couple, each with their own past that colors their perceptions. Pablo is from Chile and grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. He is angling for a partnership at a law firm and is slightly paranoid of how he will be accepted, given his Latino background. Tania is very pregnant, is nearing the completion of her Ph.D. in anthropology, and grew up in much poorer circumstances in New Mexico. She is idealistic, new agee, strongly pro-environment, and into native plants. Tania and Pablo own a property adjoining Virginia (Amy Resnick) and Frank Butley (Jackson Davis). Virginia and Frank are older couple with a prize-worthy English garden and are Republicans.
Well intentioned neighbors’ attempts for friendship soon melt away as an unintended property dispute arises. Given that garden is important to both couples, albeit in different ways, “Native Gardens” is a comedy rooted in tulipanin (common allergen toxic to some animals, found in tulips) laced barbs, and tannic acid (residing in acorns and leaves of oak trees that helps guard it from fungi and insects) colored retorts.
Zacarias is a compassionate writer and she treats both couples with a measure of empathy, compassion and understanding. Yet, what is fascinating is how gradually and in a measured way and yet how quickly and not so subtly, the conflict escalates and breaks down relations, as both couples dig deep into their personal treasure trove of isms and even political affiliations, to assume bad intentions of others and find new insults.
Director Amy Gonzalez has done a fabulous job, with the script in showing how easy it is, despite all the wisdom and maturity, for people to get polarized, to buy into the divisive rhetoric in the air that may reflect their own latent biases, prejudices and distrust of one another. Special kudos for incredible staging to Sara Sparks and Amy Smith Goodman.
In the current climate of deepening rifts and many symbols of “us versus them” (border wall, trade barrier, cages, guns, armed guards in schools, red wave, blue wave and more), the play uses yet another powerful symbol of a fence. If this play is to serve as a microcosm of what is going on in the country, then such physical articulations not only define our distinctions but when combined with divisive rhetoric and incitement of fear, they serve as call to action, to fiercely protect our zones, perimeters, boundaries and borders. However in the play, as if bringing a perfect measure of hope, it highlights how sometimes humanity springs in the most unlikeliest of circumstances, during those times when we need one another. And in those times when we seek help and when we offer help, in times of unity, our gardens bloom.
This is a not-to-miss play of this theater season. For tickets, go to www.theatreworks.org .