Archive for January 22nd, 2009


Asia ARVO – Hyderabad

Jan 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

With Seniors from Aravind at ARVOThe last two weeks have been busy with work and with travel. A group of ten of us from lab traveled together via two overnight trains to Hyderabad, stopping along the way in Chennai to visit relatives of my friend Ashwini and tour a Crocodile Park. There we tried our hands at snake and mini crock handling, as well as seeing how the professionals collect snake venom from cobras and vipers (used to make anti-venom by first injecting small amounts of the venom into an animal and collecting the antibodies they produce).

The trip to Hyderabad was for the Asia ARVO (association for research in vision and ophthalmology) convention. Along with students, several faculty attended the conference and gave presentations. In fact, Jayalakshmi, one of our lab mates, won a trophy for best presentation. The first evenings our group had dinner at the convention center preceded by Bharatanatyam (traditional south Indian dance). Another evening we had dinner at a Chowmahalla Palace, the former residence of the Nizam family, who are fifth on the Forbes list of all time wealthiest and were certainly the most weatly in the world when construction began in the 18th century. They were the Muslim rulers of a famous diamond empire.

The city of Hyderabad is very modern compared to Madurai, in fact the conference was in an area called Cyberabad. Unknowingly many people in the United States may have spoken to calling support centers for which Hyderabad is now also famous. The architecture is also impressive, not only for the new, but also for the old, like the Golconda fort. One morning I went with a friend to see the impressive fort and the nearby tombs that look somewhat like the Taj Mahal, only smaller and not made of marble.

In the end our trip to Hyderabad was a success, leaving us inspired and ready to get back to lab work!