Saturday, July 5, 2008

Genetic Habits

Clumsiness and absent-mindedness, as I have earlier mentioned, are traits I have inherited from the maternal side of my family. I have 3 cousins and a grandparent and maybe an aunt who have preceded me as the yellow peas in this Mendelian family tree.

I also have this habit of rubbing my fingers against each other (much like Abhishek Bachhan in Sarkar) and an even older habit of rubbing my nose when I am in deep contemplation. The nose habit - is more like trying to remove the grease from my oily skin.... My friend Amol was the first to notice this peculiar habit and make me aware of it. Since then, whenever he catches me doing that, I know the sidey nickname of 'doggy' will not be far behind.

Curiously, I discovered that this habit is also hereditary and comes my maternal side again. This time from my grandma's family. She was here with us during the hot summer months to escape the cruel sweltering heat of Madras (Chennai I know is politically correct - but correctness be damned!).

So it one of those lazy May afternoons spent studying and figuring out how metabolic acidosis drives hyperkalemia as if I were trying to unearth one of the great mysteries of the world. Like I said, my fingers were subconsciously drawn to my nose (maybe I smelt a clue). I don't know for how long it was, but when I looked up, my patti was staring at me, wide-eyed with her hand on her cheek and head tilted in admiration.

Turns out that I reminded her of her brother (whom we affectionately call BM) and her father, my great-grandfather. Apparently, her father would sit in the same way when he was neck deep in work and in deep concentration. Tears welled in her eyes as I brought back memories of her beloved dad, leaving me a lil awkward.

Life works mysteriously. We think that death takes away our loved ones and all their reminders away. But that's not true. A part of our dead lives on with us and lives on with our children and theirs too. Mendel's laws are unshakeable. They work - All the time.


Abinav Kumar said...

Oh man! I tried to Google Mendel's Law - but I swear to God for an engineer genes 'sounds' like the thing you wear any and everywhere which has more holes than pockets!

So, if you may please tell me in layman's term - what are the mighty laws...

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