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  • Subhadeep Chowdhury

Those magical salty tears

What was that? The secretion of lacrimal glands, or the joy that brings happiness to you!

I grew up in a family where only one person was educated enough out of all the family members. Being born and growing up in a village is a kind of blessing where nature can nurture you to bring out the best version of yourself. There was one teacher (Mr. Anup Bera) from my school who used to say “out of 24 hours a day, if you can spend 24 minutes on it, you will start loving Biology”. He became an inspiration in my life, and I started thinking about being a biologist from that time. I met another professor (Dr. Manoj Borker) during my educational journey at Goa University, who taught and showed me how to love evolutionary biology. They are the pillars in my life who helped me transition from one version of myself to another version of Subha, i.e., what I am today. It's a captivating feeling when these people say to me, "Rise higher, I want to see the best version of you." Sometimes, it brings tears to my eyes.

During my masters, I heard a lot of stories from my seniors and professors about the oceanographic missions. Their stories piqued my interest, which actually fed my zeal to be on an oceanographic cruise. My journey started from a small village in Eastern India (10096 km away), and I am here for the e-IMPACT cruise, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, south of the beautiful Canary Islands.

I am kind of a believer. Like Paulo Coelho said: "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." I work on the Indian Ocean, but somehow I am here in the Atlantic with you all. Embarking on a mission at one of my life’s dream destination gives me immense pleasure and a double boost in my zeal. That was the first magical salty tear in my eyes.

As I had no experience on oceanographic cruises, at the beginning I was looking at how senior scientists were setting up and organizing the lab, working on the cruise etc. Here are some words for some people:

Javier and Pepe: Before coming to this mission, I knew their names from my supervisor, "Mar," who always admires them. I am amazed to see the excitement of the senior scientists like Javier and Pepe, whose experiences are higher than my age. This gives me another level of joy and pleasure to do science. I always appreciate these kinds of people and I really liked their humility in transmitting the information to the next generation of ocean scientists like me. I would like to keep those scenarios as a golden memory of my life and try to do the same for the next generation of oceanographers.

Nandy: Another amazing person that I met in my European life. I can say she is like my mother, and I think she is the one with whom I have talked more than any other person during this cruise till now. So, thanks Nandy for all of your blessings. I will store those blessings to keep excelling and shining in my future.

Aja: I am a keen observer, and I found her to be one of the most dynamic people on this cruise (along with Mar NC). You have amazing management skills and abilities. Thanks for revitalizing my school-time memories of "Yoga" and reawakening my interest in Yoga. I would like to invite you to my beautiful country, India, to explore more and enrich your passion for "Yoga".

Sorry to those for whom I was unable to write!

But, finally, I'd like to share with all of you some words that I just translated from my beautiful mother tongue, "Bengali"—

I'll be back tomorrow, under your blue eyes.

Like a salt water impression, in the galaxy of creation, on the pages of the future!!!

These 2 pictures are golden memories in my life: to be with them, learning from them and work with them.

My first Oceanographic mission aboard R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa.

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