The Indian Researcher

Sunday night, 10pm, Khush is waiting for final readings.
C’mon, I am almost there, he whisper.
Final readings came on screen and the result is experiment failed. Khush is completely disappointed.

Phone rang, Dad calling….
Hello, where are you son? Dad asked.
I am in lab Dad, he replied.
What? What are you doing in lab right now? Do you get extra money for it?? Dad questioned.
No Dad, he said
then, why are you working on Sunday? I seriously don’t understand what you do and why you do. See Mr. Verma’s son is in bank and getting more than you and he doesn’t have to do extra time, Dad said.

Dad, I am not in mood to answer, he replied and hung up the phone.

After a while,
where are you? Girlfriend’s message arrived.
I am in lab dear, he texted back.

Oh, lab again, you don’t even have time for me on Sunday? When are you going to finish your PhD? When we are going to get marry? She replied with angry emojis.
Dear, I can’t answer your questions right now. My experiment failed today. Will talk tomorrow, he texted back and went to room.
Next morning, in lab,
Have you done the experiment successfully? Show me the results, guide said.
No Sir, I couldn’t get the positive results, he replied.
What? You don’t have the positive results yet? It’s been so long you are working on it. Are you doing research just for money? See, ‘doing science and a good science is not everyone’s cup of tea’. Guide scolded him and left.

After so much hard work, sleepless nights, so much efforts, his experiment failed and he was already disheartened. All he got is disappointments from family, his love and guide as well. He became frustrated, socially isolated and so much depressed, not because of this incidence only but all the other failure and disappointments that he had been through from past 4 years of his PhD. This is what most of researchers are going through in our country. This is just an example of it and yeah my researcher friends can definitely relate this with themselves.
We researchers do lot of hard work. From beginning like doing masters in our subject then appearing for NET-JRF exam, qualifying which is not that easy. Monthly stipend of a Junior Research Fellow is 25K Indian rupees. After that getting the best lab and a good guide is very much necessary. There is no end limit of PhD in our country. It may take 4 to 5 years or it may take 10 years as well (Yeah, you read it right, 10 years). Doing PhD is not enough; one should also have good research publications in high impact factor journals. If you think that after doing PhD, we will have job in our hand then that’s not actually true. If we want to be a scientist or assistant professor in a good university, then we should go for post doctorate (candidates who did post doc from abroad is always given preference). We researchers spend almost half of our life doing PhD and post doc, after that we actually have a so called job.

In our country, where having a permanent job is the tag of being successful; doing research is a commendable job that what our researchers do. We do research not to get money only but for a better present and a better future of mankind, for a better environment, for making our lives easy (by the invention, R&D of the gadgets that we use in our daily life) and disease free.

Unfortunately, PhD, which is the highest degree, respected very less by peoples because they don’t understand what we actually do in lab. But I can proudly say that it takes a lot of hard work and determination to be a researcher. So if someone from your family or your friend or anyone you know, who is a researcher, do appreciate them guys and make them feel proud. Don’t underestimate them just because of not having a high salaried job or a permanent job.

To all my researcher friends, Hats off to you guys, you all are incredible.

With love

SM

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