Skip to main content

My Story

I thought a lot of what to write on an about me page. The traditional advice I found is pretty boring and one-dimensional. If you are here, you must be curious to know about me and my life (than what is available on the internet).

Hence, I decided to create this long page. When someone asks me to tell my story, I probably can direct them to this page. Also, It works like a mini document of my life.

Jayabrata Das-About me

My Journey

Born in India, West Bengal (northern part)
Started developing interest in reading books outside academic curriculum (mostly from grandparents)
First time heard about A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and became an inspiration since then
Finished schooling and moved to a new city (Raiganj) for further studies. Read and got fascinated by Leonardo Da Vinci
Exposed to more books and magazines. Reading became part of life from a hobby. Started writing personal diaries
Finished college and moved to new city (Siliguri) for higher education
Developed most-wider circle of friends ever and probably realized more about people and myself.
Finished post-graduation and moved to Mumbai (IIT Bombay) for Ph.D.
Started writing on the Internet (learned to build a blog)
Pandemic brought better clarity to priorities in life. Decided to take writing seriously along with scientific research. Started my own newsletter.
Completed my doctoral studies in Chemistry and moved to USA (UMich) for post-doctorate (all publications)
Got married after 4 years of long-distance relationship
Lost my newsletter (lesson learned- never trust any software companies, have your backups) decided to renovate website and start fresh.

I believe in craftsman mindset (instead of passion)

One of the most overrated words used generally is passion. Not that people can’t have passions but the way it is often described is overrated. One book that impacted me during my teens is ‘So good they can’t ignore you’. For most people, there is nothing called predefined passion. Generally, the way passion work is-

You feel you might like something – You start putting effort – You feel overwhelmed sometimes – You keep on doing for some time – You are getting better and started liking – People started noticing your work – You develop more interest and put more effort – You get more rewards – You feel you are passionate about this work.

Of course, not everything you would try will become a passion, but the more you try, the better the chances. Hence take calculative risks in life. I barely knew much about scientific research when I joined my Ph.D. and felt burdened in the initial days. Eventually, I realized it’s more about building confidence by learning and doing better work and less about how good your background is.

I often tell myself ‘Don’t make money the center point of your life (do some things out of love)’

I like one of Voltaire’s quotes-

“Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.”

Money is important because we live in a society where money is the most efficient medium of transaction for goods and services. It is necessary for materialistic growth and comfort. However, money cannot nourish your mind or soul.
You are more likely to succeed in an activity when you don’t think about money or fame in the beginning. Do something in life that does not guarantee you money in return but gives you inner peace. Writing for me is that activity. Explore the archive of my blog to read something that interests you.

 I don’t like too many choices

Too many options always feel paradoxical to me. One might think more options mean better chances of choosing the best but I take it the other way. I (and probably most people) waste too much time when dealing with too many choices. Eventually, I feel the time invested in deciding something out of many is not worth it. Because more options do not correlate with better decisions. The hyper-consumerism of this day and age has made this situation worse.

 Relation with technology

When it comes to digital media or devices, I am sort of conservative to some extent. I have been reading about decreased human attention span due to the digital revolution for over a decade now and it’s not fiction anymore, you can see around you how most people find it increasingly hard to focus for a longer duration.

I made it a priority to keep my phone in silent mode (most of the time). For social media, I find LinkedIn to be better in terms of signal-to-noise ratio. Reading paperbooks still seems more natural to me than Kindle. If you should know one thing about social media and the internet in general, it is that you are never in control of what you see, more than the content it is the medium that affects your brain in the long term. Don’t rely just on the internet to make important decisions.

 I like serene places than crowded (and beaches than mountains)

I feel better at natural places—lakes, ponds, parks, and places where one can hear natural sounds. I’m not too fond of loud and crowded places, big cities, parties, etc.

Most exciting moments of my life