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Dhiraj Devidas Bhatia
Dhiraj Devidas Bhatia

Dhiraj Devidas Bhatia

Postdoctoral scientist at Curie Institute

Institut Curie, Paris, France

More about myself
Not much. Just want to say that keep smiling and walking even in the midst of problems. God will provide solutions to every problem in life. He will never give us problems which we are not capable of overcoming.
Couple of years from now
I have just started my career as a postdoctoral scientist, So i will be here for next couple of years. However, I will look for independent career as team leader in academics or industry mostly in India after my postdoc.
Influenced by
Many people. The most important person who influenced me is my father - Devidas Bhatia. He is my best friend. Despite tremendous health issues, he keeps moving and that really motivates me everytime. Then there are two people who always influenced me to look forward, be positive and look for bigger dreams - Prof. D.S. Wagh and Dr. Yamuna Krishnan. Yamuna was my PhD supervisor and I worked with D.S.Wagh for four years. Both of them taught me to be broad minded in research, planning work and future activities. I owe all what I have to these three people. Apart from them, Srila Prabhupada has been the most influential person in my life who actually taught me the really meaning of life and the reason for us being here in this world. I am really indebted to him for my whole life. Apart from them, I was really lucky to get supported from my family, mother, wife, brother and of course a lot of friends.
Initiative to develop a country
First thing to try to come back to India. We need expert scientists, business men, enterpreneaurs, honest politicians and leaders. Most of us when come out of country, feel very happy with facilities in foreign countries, and we start blamming India for the current situation. But unless we take initiative how will the country improve. We all need to learn good skills from abroad, come back and help India develop. But truely speaking, we really need good and stable government with honest and understanding politicians and leaders.
Brief description about me
I am Dhiraj Bhatia. I was born and bought up in Nashik City in Maharashtra. I did my Masters in Chemistry in Chemistry from Pune University in 2005 and then joined National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Sciences in Bangalore in 2007. I obtain PhD in Life Sciences, more specifically in Chemical Biology from NCBS-TIFR in August 2013 along with Eli-Lilly Asia Outstanding Thesis Award. I joined Curie Institute in Paris in the unit of Chemical Biology of Membranes, where I am working as a Curie and HFSP postdoctoral researcher. I am married and along with my wife, I stay in Paris. I am equally associated with International Society for Krishna Consiousness, called ISKCON or Hare Krishna movement. I spend most of my free time in ISKCON. My parents and brother are settled in India in Nashik. I will be Paris for coming 3-4 years.
My achievements
Nothing. Proud of nothing. Whatever I achieved is all God's grace. But getting PhD from India's most renowned school TIFR was really a thing of great joy. Also getting selected for one of the most prestigious fellowship i.e. HFSP long term fellowship gives more happiness and confidence. While in India in Bangalore, I used to work part time for ISKCON Bangalore and used to go to schools and colleges and teach them the priniciples of spirituality, Bhagawad Gita, those things were the once which really made me happy. That is the only real contribution that i can do for my country.
Important lesson learned
There is no alternative to Hard Work. Strongly believe that God is there and he is always there to help you in every situation of life. Be patient in your life, whatever is destined will surely come to you. Please take atleast few minutes of your day for Prayers, whatever kind it may be. Also, one very important thing that I have learned is "Believe in yourself". If you feel you can, you will surely do it. Be positive but dont think in terms of competitions. Today's world only teaches who be competent, but truely speaking everybody is a separate identity with specific characteristics, so this idea of competitions has really created a havoc in society. Be yourself and be happy. Remember God is on your side and you will always find road beneath your steps to move ahead. Be thankful to God for whatever you have, He will give you more. And most importantly wherever you are, dont forget your parents and family. Always take care of those because of whom you are what you are.
My family background
I come from a typical middle class Sindhi Indian family. My grand parents migrated from Pakistan during independence and it took two generations of time to stabilize in India. My parents are not educated but they knew what was important for us. They really took huge efforts for my and my brother's eduction. Today my father is retired but he is happy and satisfied. My brother works for a company in India as engineer and my mother is housewife. My wife is also an housewife and really supports me with my work. Our entire family is now attached completely with ISKCON since past few years and truely, we are really living a satisfied and a blissful life.
My strongest skill
With God's grace, I am good in communications. I can really communicate efficiently with different types of people and also teaching. I am really thankful that I can discuss with many varieties of people on different people, so it makes very easy for me to adjust to any kind of situations. I would like to improve on these skills and also my scientific career to use them for my country once I come back. Also, one good thing that is present in me is I always look for positives.
Degree that I recommend
Many high school children only think of Engineer / Doctor or MBA/Architecture like courses. Ofcourse they are good, but there are immense number of other courses also which are probably more interesting than these. Right now I would suggest courses like Masters in Nanotechnology, Biotechnology as well as fundamental and interdisciplinary sciences like Chemical Biology, Biophysics are the courses in demand and have really good future opportunities in India.
Important decision
The first one was to leave an medical course and take basic science course. But today I dont regret that decision. The second was to leave the job in multinational company and take PhD which really changed the life to the better one. But I feel, God always helped me in taking the most crucial decisions of life.
Qualities needed to become a successful leader
First of all clear vision. Then the ability to move one. Mental Stability, but these days economic security also really concerns most of the people in India. Faithfulness and Honesty and the optimistic view are really needed. Broad mindedness and the ability to collaborate with various kinds of groups are additional benefits.
Ensuring success
I work in a very international, diverse and cheerful team. I think the surroundings and team has a very great influence on the way you think and work. Also, I keep periodically assessing myself regarding the shortfalls and planning for future. Sometimes, these micromanaging techniques are helpful. Also, meditation is really very important. I am associated with ISKCON for long time now and devote some time everyday for chanting and reading books like Bhagavad Gita.
Thoughts on Education system of our country
Academics wise our education system is really good in India. However, the only aspect that is really lacking is the spiritual aspects in our education systems. I have seen in many international schools in India, the studens in primary schools start preparing for IITs, GRE, etc but they dont know what is Bhagawad Gita. The schools dont teach at all. I think, to be a good person, a knowledge of mind control, spirituality is equally important as academic eduction. Also, recently most students are moving away from physical exercises to online games and internet, This is really affecting their healths. I think the schools should compulsory make physical exercises and also atleast one year of military training, that will really bring discipline among young students who are right now not in a very good mental conditions. I have many students disturbed due to various reasons and unfortunately there is no facilities for such councelling.
My role model
For my scientific careers - my guide Prof. Ludger Johannes who is right now a director of unit in Curie Institute and in India, Prof. K. VijayRaghavan who is currently secretory of Department of Biotechnology. The way they both plan their work, team leading abilities and always thinking ahead really inspires me. For the general life, I am really inspired by Narendra Modi, Amitabh Bachhan who show what you can do, if you just think that yes you can do it. When I see these both persons, even at their age, they are working much more than we youngsters. And finally, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the found Acharya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Actually he is the real Role model. I think todays leaders and politicians should read his works on how to run a system, country and make everything very peaceful.
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