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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

lessons in chemistry

I was taken aback when I heard an actress mention in an interview on TV that ‘our chemistry matches’. The subject was related to one of her on-screen male partners. I scratched my head to understand what this match is all about.

Chemistry, as we know, pertains to chemicals and how one of them reacts when it comes in contact with another. Is it to be presumed that the on-screen combination involving two young persons can prove to be lethal, and can blow you up to smithereens? Is that how the term ‘bomb shell’ got associated with oomph girls? The possibility does exist because explosions are results of chemical reactions. Whether it is RDX or the firecracker, chemistry plays a key role.

Chemistry rules our lives - right from lighting the gas burner in the morning for the first cup of tea to switching on the mosquito repellant liquid at night, we continuously see chemical reactions around us that pave the way for a better, fuller life. When we turn the ignition of our car and the engine purrs into life, it is chemistry at our service. When indigestion strikes, we pop tablets in our mouths and the saliva interacts with the ingredients of the medicine to give us relief. Even manufacturers of body soap encourage us to take the litmus test to find out exactly how safe our brand is. More examples of chemistry in our daily lives revolve around milk – we curdle it and prepare sweets, we compress the curdled substance and get paneer, we allow it to solidify on its own and get yoghurt. When we keep the chicken or mutton marinated in vinegar, or add baking powder to make those beautiful fluffy cakes, it is chemistry all the way.

Chemistry is basically all about how different chemicals react with each other either singly or in combination and the end result that the reaction produces. If the end result causes destruction, the chemistry is bad. Else, we can say confidently that ‘our chemistry matches’. Is my interpretation on the right lines?

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