When I was 6 years old, I remember spending my Sunday mornings in the bath tub mixing various shampoos and soaps to get the perfect “formula” for blowing the biggest soap bubble ever. I am not sure if I got it right but I definitely remember telling my mom that I have discovered a new formula which I wanted to share with Dr. Anji Reddy (Founder, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories); where she worked then. I was told that Dr. Reddy was amused and chuckled in his trademark laughter when my mom actually told him this.
I guess my love for chemistry started with that “soap formula”. However, that interest stayed dormant till Grade 8 when I joined an international school in Shanghai, China. This was a very different experience from my school in India. In this new school, the chemistry lab was the classroom and the lessons were based on experiments we were doing in the lab. My science teacher was Ms. D; a fantastic teacher who really reignited my love for science, more so for chemistry. Chemistry teaches you many things; amongst them are patience, discipline and focus; which I learnt during my first lab experiment. My lab partner and I were so stressed during our first lab experiment, that we filled both – the titration pipette and the flask with a “base”. We kept adding the titration agent without getting any results till we realized our mistake which we corrected to the get the correct outcome.
When I looked up for summer programs in 2015 and came across the Sci-Art NanoLab program at UCLA; I was drawn towards it as I like the application of Chemistry. Nanoscience and Material Science are two areas of my interest, where Chemistry can be applied. At UCLA, I gained new understanding in Molecular Chemistry and nanotechnology; and used new lab instruments including the electron microscope.
The science of Chemistry is at the core of everything that we see, feel and touch around us. One can use chemistry to explain everything… well almost everything. For example: the Big Bang that supposed to have created our universe; was essentially a chemical reaction. So was the “Little Boy” that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II. The ATP cycle that gives energy to our body functions is also a chemical reaction. So, the creation, sustenance and destruction of our world can all be explained by Chemistry.