Memphis keeps getting better and better.
My family and I moved to Memphis in the summer of 2014, right after finishing my PhD, and we liked it from day one. I was looking for postdoctoral fellowship opportunities during my final year of my PhD, so I attended a virology conference. That’s where I met a St. Jude alumni. After interviewing, I accepted an offer to join. My family and I didn’t know anything about Memphis before then. Working at St. Jude has been amazing. There’s a spirit of collaboration that makes my job very efficient. But the best part of my job is that I get to work next to world renowned experts.
Shelby Farms Park is one of our favorite locations. We like to spend time there as a family doing outdoor activities such as hiking and bird watching. The park has many options for hiking, as well as a ten-mile-long biking trail.
Memphis Botanic Garden is another one of our favorite locations. It’s an amazing garden with enough space for the entire family. My Big Backyard, located within the garden, has sixteen different areas to explore and enjoy nature–there’s a maze, a pond with bog plants, and a guest house with a seasonal lemonade stand. The garden is a destination that allows us to be together as a family, which doesn’t always happen.
The Ganges River in India is a big part of Indian culture; it provides drinking water and it’s considered a sacred river important to Hinduism, of which I am a strong follower. Before Memphis, I never lived near a river in my life. Now, getting to live so close to the Mississippi River—one of the biggest rivers in the world—is fulfilling a personal dream of mine. It makes me emotional thinking about it. It’s a river with so much history, and there are points along the river that illustrate and explain that long history. I think of the Native Americans who crossed this river. I think about all the goods that travel on barges down the Mississippi. My family and I enjoy an evening walk along the river, so we can watch the sunset.
We live in Cordova and love this area. At home, I try to hone my skills in Indian classical music. I come from a musical family. My parents were musicians. So I have all the classical Indian instruments at home, including a flute, an accordion, and drums. On weekends, we like to play music together for one or two hours, as a family, and then we’ll go for a hike in the morning.
But the best part of this area is its central location. We can access any part of the city in less than 20 minutes. My family and I love to walk around Beale Street and feel the musical vibes. Some of our favorite food places in the Memphis area are Mulan Asian Bistro, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, and Mempops.