Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Indian Wedding - About the Bride

Here is a text that I wrote about myself for our wedding website:

Four years after the world-altering event of Anil’s birth in India, I was born in Poland. It must have been a ground-shaking event for my parents too—a few years after I showed up in the world, they decided not to have any more kids. Based on the stories they’ve told me about my childhood, I cannot blame them for that.

One of my favorite stories goes back to the time when I was 4 years old. My parents asked me to put away the toys scattered all over my room to their appropriate places. I refused to do that, claiming that the mess was not created by me, but by my visitors. My parents tried variety of both verbal and non-verbal arguments, including blackmail and physical force, to make me clean my room to no avail. In the end, my father gave up and packed all my toys into two huge suitcases. He brought them down to the basement, at the same time informing me that I am not going to get any new toys, and would only be allowed one of the toys from my old collection when I was exceptionally good. Even that did not make me surrender ☺. I am not sure if I should be proud of myself or not, but I definitely wonder how my parents managed to survive so many years with me (and stay sane and grey hair-free), and why Anil, out of his own free will, plans to spend the rest of his life with me ;).

In general, I have extremely fond memories of my childhood and teen years. During those years, I met some of the best friends who have helped define who I am and who are still present in my life, even though we live thousands of miles away from each other.

My parents still live in the city where I was raised. Pila is a quiet suburban city located in the north-western part of Poland, close to the border with Germany. I was raised in a loving and supportive atmosphere, for which I will be eternally grateful to my parents. They are still the most important people in my life. My mother, Zofia, is a chemistry teacher. She teaches mostly at the local high school, but also a few classes at the local university. My father, Marek, is a professor of ethics, sociology and philosophy at one of the best universities in Poland (XXX). Both of my parents are excellent lecturers, greatly appreciated by their students.

When I was in high-school my parents got divorced and recently (just before I moved to the US) my father re-married. His new wife, Lidia, is an extremely kind-hearted person and I am very happy that my father met somebody as exceptional as she is. Lidia has one son of her own, who is 7 days younger than I am. So, as my father likes to joke, now I have a twin brother ;) Hereby, I would like to thank my twin-step-brother, Dawid, for putting together this webpage and also for designing (with minimal input, but a lot of demands, from our side) our wedding invitations. Thank you, Dawid!

When I was 18 years old I moved to Poznan, one of the biggest cities in Poland, with a very good Medical University. There I studied drug analysis and biochemical pharmacy for five years until I obtained a Masters degree. In 2001 I moved to Dresden in Germany, where I worked at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics. 3.5 years ago, after completing my PhD thesis on the subject of molecular medicine and lipid cell biology I moved to San Francisco. Currently, I work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, studying mechanisms of aging.

Science is definitely my greatest passion, but I enjoy doing other things too. I love traveling, and everything that it brings with itself: meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and their associated cuisines, enjoying beautiful nature, and documenting it all through the means of photography and writing. I can imagine myself living anywhere in the world, but the Bay Area will definitely be one of the places that I will always consider my home. I met many wonderful people here who are very close to my heart, including the love of my life.

The bride on the wedding day: