Tuesday, March 26, 2013


A research student works in the principle of KITA. KITA is the acronym made famous by the celebrated author on motivation, Herzberg. It simply unfurls as Kick In The Ass.

Oh yeah, that is what we researchers do to get ourselves motivated. Kick in not anyone’s ass, but in ones own and not by anyone else, but by the person alone. That is only how a research can be done. Research can’t be done at gunpoint (data can be collected thus, though). It is to be self motivated and with some amount of eustress. The research supervisor often does not really pay attention to the student because he knows research can’t be done with force. There is a time for it, and it is for sure. Some may have to wait for it and others may have to build it.

There can be days, weeks and months with no progress at all. Nothing to do. And all of a sudden the vault opens and 24 hours seem like few minutes. That is when dejection, disappointment and disengagement makes way for plethora of activities in short notice. Hardly can anything be planned for a research, although veterans strongly recommend having a plan and research diary and stuff. There is virtually no research student who would not have atleast once wondered why has he taken up this task anyway? But the experience and learning is fabulous – not just the subject part, but with regard to the patience required, KITA, reading, writing, reviewing..

I am often asked  - so dong a PhD ah? How long is the course? I say ah well.. this is not a course but research to be done at ones own pace and interest, so it cant be compartmentalized into these many years. Takers are few for this explanation. So now I say 4 years. But what if this gets extended more than 4 years? I’ve an answer : I flunk in few papers and am yet to pass those, hence the delay, I’ld say. I can see those smirks in the faces. 

Time for a  KITA ..

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