Blog Archives

Book Review: Marry Go Round

Marry go Round ReviewOnce in a while, the mind wants to take a break and urges you to read a book that is not heavily taxing for your grey cells. So when I got a few books to review, courtesy Leadstart Publishing, I was hoping Marry Go Round wouldn’t disappoint!

The book is set up in a traditional Hyderabadi background. The hero – Riaz – is happily settled in the US and does not intend to get married. The mother doesn’t want her only son falling into the hands of a gori and wants him to get married to a khaandani girl in Hyderabad and continue the family line. What follows is a crazy story full of twists and turns. And of course lots of drama!

The book is SO been-there-done-that. The crazy relatives, the greedy matchmaker, the families showing off, every trick of the trade in the marriage business has been tested in this book as well. The character of the mother is penned beautifully; she has some extremely cheesy and funny lines too. But overall, the plot seems to be dragging and you fathom what will follow next, and what to expect in the end. From Almost Single to Two States or Two Fates, we have had enough written about marriages.

Overall, this is a perfect reading material for a tediously long train/plane journey.

About the book: A determined mother using blatant emotional blackmail to inveigle her NRI son into a marriage with the right sort of desi girl; a reluctant groom with a live-in girlfriend following him all the way to India; a bride on the rebound from a disastrous liaison with a married man; skeletons rattling in old family cupboards; an aunt on the vengeance trail and we have a heady cocktail of an arranged wedding that morphs into a love marriage with quite the wrongest possible girl…with a little tactical help from long-dead ancestors. Written in a refreshingly original style, Marry Go Round is one quaint combine of today s merrily irreverent humour and a staid Hyderabadi milieu with its Nawabi hangover from grandiose times long past.

About the author: Sadiqa Peerbhoy has been a columnist for Deccan Herald, Newstime, Midday, The Brief, and the Times of India, Bangalore. Her long-running, topical humour column, Swalpa Connect Maadi in Deccan Herald has a devoted following in Bangalore. She has scripted two popular serials for national television: Honee Anhonee and Sara Jahan Hamara. She has also written documentary scripts for BBC World. Two of her short story collections have been published. Her third book, But Other Mothers Do , is a hilarious take on the trials and tribulations of a young working mother.

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

 DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

Babies for Gays

DISCLAIMER : This article was originally written for and published in Gaylaxy magazine.

One argument that activists of LGBT rights always face while propaganding their views  among people is the criticism that the concept of homosexuality is against the values of Indian family concept and homosexuals cannot procreate. Even if they do adopt or go for surrogate parenthood, the offspring is not of the same “blood”. While social scientists will answer the query about the erosion of family ties with increasing number of openly out gays, i as a biology student can just try to draw the attention of people towards new researches which have successfully attempted to make genetically identical biological offsprings of gay men.

Stem cells are not unheard of. Although you may not be acquainted with the nity gritties of the concept, readers i guess are not completely in the dark about the term. But for those do not, i wish to summarise what stem cells are in brief before moving to the main article.

Stem cells are the cells in our body characterised by the property of self renewal and differentiation. All other cells can be obtained from a single stem cell so they are called Totipotent. Once a cell lineage is formed from a stem cell, the cells cannot revert back to any other form( what i mean to say is a liver cell line will never function as a heart cell line, although evidences of dedifferentiation have been shown in recent works).

The hematopoietic stem cells (stem cells that give rise to blood cells) generally occur in the bone marrow, and these have been used extensively in the stem cell research, to get an insight into what really is the mechanism of differentiation of these cells.

You can also read about stem cells in my earlier post here.

Coming back to the article, it has always been said sexual reproduction in homosexual partners is unheard of. However with latest scientific breakthroughs it is no more an impossible feat.

According to the biological definition, sexual reproduction stands for the union of the male pronucleus and the female pronucleus. To be more specific, it is the union of the genetic material carried by the gametes of the two partners. The apomixes must be followed by growth of the embryo into a full fledged organism. This leads to the creation of an offspring genetically similar to both the parents.

Courtesy Live Journal

The problem of hindrance to apomixes in same sex couples can be solved with the stem cell technology. For this a new technology was put to use. That is called dedifferentiation. Differentiated somatic cells of the body can be made to reverse the process of differentiation and become a pluripotent stem cell and give rise to host of other cells. The stem cells thus produced are called induced stem cells. Induced stem cells are produced using several transcription factors and other chemical agents from somatic cells like fibroblast cells of the skin. These cells then can be made to differentiate into the germ cell. Gametes produced by respective germ cells can then be fused and embryo shall be born. This can be implanted in a surrogate mother to give birth to a biological offspring with characters from both the parents.

Let us discuss this in an example. Say I and Deepak are partners. We want a baby. Say i want to be the father and Deepak wants to play the biological “mother”. In that case, fibroblast cells from Deepak shall be extracted and made to undergo dedifferentiation in to an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC). This iPSC can then be induced to form egg cells or ovum. Since a father’s job is to donate a sperm, i do not have to get donate any fibroblast cells but stay contended with donating sperms. Fertilisation of egg and sperm take place following normal rules of Nature. The embryo can be implanted into a surrogate mother for further development.

However a problem arises since genetic makeup of men is XY. So there is a probability that YY zygote may form following fertilisation. Hence these embryos will be lethal and won’t survive.

In case of lesbian couples, one partner donates the fibroblast for synthesis of sperms and the other donates the egg (which is her own normal product) for fertilisation.

This procedure sounds interesting and also incorporates great deal of knowledge of the life sciences and the latest advances made in biotechnology research. However the whole procedure comes with its share of expenses and might not lead to desired results always. But that’s the beauty of research in sciences.

People will always cry horse about ethical issues, about undoing God’s way of procreation, disturbing the order of Nature. But if we stagnate scientific experiments, progress of civilization will stall and God will never forgive us for that.

I wish this technology becomes a reality soon and homosexuals in India can choose to produce offsprings who are biologically their part.

%d bloggers like this: