I was almost closing my laptop when I saw a short and happy email from a person I didn’t know who claimed to be the first Indian student to have defended his PhD at the University of Tartu.
A few days later I was wandering around the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology looking for Gyaneshwer Chaubey without even knowing how I should pronounce his name. We met and sat down for a chat.
Gyaneshwer arrived to Estonia in January 2006 wearing a very thin jacket and a light coat. It was -32°C and dark, and he was confused as to whether it was day or night. Professor Toomas Kivisild was waiting for him, Gyaneshwer recalls: I was surprised to see he had two big jackets for me. He wrapped them around me, put me in his car [laughs] and brought me here.
Pizzas with the supervisor and colleagues saved Gyaneshwer from hunger, and he later fell in love with Estonian kama. The fresh doctor in Molecular Biology prefers the work culture in Tartu to Cambridge, finds similarities between Saaremaa and India, and laughs a lot.
Listen to the interview:
All photos are by Jüri Parik, a lecturer of Evolutionary Biology at UT.