Each week, CreakyJoints will highlight one of our team members. We hope that you get to learn a little about us and get some TV or book ideas along the way. Click here to see previous installments in the series.
Shilpa Venkatachalam, Ph.D., M.P.H| Research Associate
What I’m Reading: Literature, music and art are constants in my world! I’m in a nostalgic phase and so re-reading parts from some of my favorite books. Currently I’m also re-reading a book by one of favorite writers, Manu Joseph, called “The Illicit Happiness of Others.” I alternate this with the latest issues of the New Scientist. I could be reading anything from literary fiction, poetry, graphic novels to non-fiction and children’s literature. Writers who never disappoint me include Borges, Rushdie, T.S. Eliot, and Graham Green. Books I could re-read a million times over include “Em and the Big Hoom,” “Serious Men,” “The Sense of an Ending,” “Collected Poems” by Eliot, “Shadow Lines,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “End of the Affair” and all of Dr. Seuss, and so so many more. But I’ll stop!
What I’m Watching: I love the cinematic medium and am watching multiple things (when I get the chance). I recently started watching “The Crown” on Netflix, re-watched some of my favorite Pedro Almodovar movies (his cinema is great if you haven’t watched any, you should definitely try). Among my favorite shows are “The Good Wife,” “House of Cards,” “LOST,” “ER,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Broadchurch” and “The Night Of.” I could go on! I love documentaries as well.
What I’m Listening To: That really depends on the day. I’m a music fanatic. My playlist is a concoction of different tunes. Radiohead is an all-time favorite band of mine. But on any day you can pull out sounds in different languages: love Cheb Mami, Soud Massi, Blur, Madredeus, Bebe, The Flaming Lips, Soca, Bollywood (of course), The Postal Service, Cheb Khaled, The Black Eyed Peas, Chrisette Michelle, Queen and again I could go on! I listen to music anywhere and anytime I can: on the subway, while walking the streets of NYC, while cleaning, while doing nothing.
My Hobbies: I love cooking and trying out new restaurants, love theatre, music concerts and hanging out with friends, love watching a good film, love traveling and imagining places before I travel and love spending time with my adorable niece! Among my favorite things to do is having cups of tea with friends and family and sometimes strangers (mostly when I’m traveling) and chatting about life. I love hanging out with babies and kids!
Fun facts: I’ll give you a few! I play (or at least try to) the violin, which I have taken lessons in along with classical music and dance. In a previous life I used to teach literature, art and humanities. I have never been able to learn to swim despite several attempts at learning. I’m fascinated by Einstein and quantum theory. I’d love to have also studied neurosurgery!