Biology is Chemistry

Samarjit Kambam
Do you still feel fresh and energetic just like the way you experienced when you were a kid? Do you still feel the sensation where everywhere you look is beautiful, every moment abounds with happiness just like the way when you were a kid? Do you still feel like every day is a glorious day filled with the fragrance of freshness? Is your mind still free from stress and tension just like a kid? Do you still feel like a free bird? Do you still feel the pleasure of listening to music or playing a game just like the way you did when you were a kid? Do you still feel fresh and energetic and enjoy the sight of morning dew on the grass and the sound of the birds chirping as you wake up from your slumber early in the morning? I hope not.
When I was a kid, everything was as clear as the bright blue sky. My mind was carefree, I was happy every moment for no reason conceivable to me. My mind was free from any hard or compelling thoughts. I am sanguine that these feelings had been encountered by you too when you were a kid. As I grew up into a teenager, the rising hormones inside me made my mind go soft with tenderness whenever I encountered someone of the opposite sex whom I like or admire. Fragrance of love always seemed to hover in the air. There was sweet surrender all the way. I was always full of energy. School life was enchanting and sweet memories still linger. College life was fascinating. During those times, it was the heart that spoke, not the mouth. Yearning and longing for my loved one were the recipes for the heart. If you are a human, I am sure that the same applies to you also.
Time flies. And it’s so true when the elders used to say, “Happiness is short lived and good times don’t last forever”. As the biological clock is ticking inside each one of us relentlessly, our body keeps on changing. From rapid regeneration of cells since childhood till adolescent to gradual degeneration of cells after one attains adulthood, a process which are programmed in our genes, little do we realise that a lot of chemical changes also take place inside our body as life goes on. During the adolescence phase when a boy and a girl fall in love together, people generally use to say “Chemistry is going on between the two”. Initially, we found it hard to absorb thinking that such comments are craps. But as we delve deeper, we have come to terms that actual chemistry goes on between the concerned individuals during such situations where rising hormones play a vital role and the hormones which are secreted from whatsoever ductless glands are nothing but chemicals.
Newly weds want to spend time near each other as though the world would end the next day. But after some years, the magic fades and the period of spending time near each other gets reduced drastically, making each feel like wearing the same garments over and over again which again is the handiwork of hormones. During kidhood days, every moments are moments to enjoy without any generic reason. But as years accrue upon us, such kinds of enjoyable moments slowly wanes. Most blame it on taking responsibility as one reaches adulthood. Course, it’s true. As one begins to take responsibility, stress hormones begin to hover inside our bodies giving us stress and tensions.
Liquor and drug addicts find it very hard to become sober and recover from their addiction. Here also, the chemical processes in the brain as well as the body have been altered where normal becomes abnormal and being abnormal becomes normal. So, our body is a big laboratory in itself where all the chemical changes take place every second. One suffer from diabetes when the sugar level gets too high due to decreased release of Insulin, again a chemical released from the Pancreas with the Islets of Langerhans as the manufacturing units of Insulin. When we are excited or too scared or when we get into a tussle or get too furious, we immediately feel stronger due to the hormone Adrenaline released in our bloodstream from the two bean shaped ductless glands sitting atop the two kidneys.
The chemical hormones released by thyroid glands play many roles in our body such as metabolism, growth and many other body functions. The salivary gland secretes the chemical Ptyalin that acts as a lubricant as well as catalyst in digestion of the food we eat. Likewise, there are many other glands in our body that secrete chemicals in the form of hormones. Over and above the umpteen glands, the organs in our body also secrete chemicals. Mention may be made of stomach which secretes Hydrochloric acid to break down and digest the food we eat and the liver which produces chemicals for absorption of fats and fat soluble vitamins, detoxification of blood and various other functions. Many other organs in our body are also associated with chemicals.
In general, after about two decades of marriage, the libido or the drive or urge for sex of the male gets weaker which again is the result of less production of hormone Testosterone from the testicles. Women from 40 to 45 experiences menopause which again is a chemical process wherein the hormones Estrogen and Progesterone gets no longer released from the ovaries. When it comes to Male Pattern Baldness or Alopecia, the culprit is the hormone Testosterone again which hovers like a resident evil inside the scalp by attacking the hair roots and gradually killing them.
The oxidation that takes inside our body is also a chemical reaction. Oxidation is a gradual killer for this very chemical process destroys many cells inside our body every day. Even though we are genetically programmed regarding changes in our body such as ageing, coming up of wrinkles on the skin etc, oxidation acts as a negative catalyst to speed up such unwanted processes. It also plays a diabolic role in growth of cancerous cells inside our body. No wonder we the humans are walking chemical laboratories only that we are not aware or find it hard to believe the actual status quo regarding the different varieties of chemicals playing their roles in our bodies.
The writer is of the opinion that it may not be wrong to state that, on the flip side, Biology is Chemistry.
(The writer can be reached at [email protected])

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