PhD student @ NTU 🇸🇬| Logophile | Artist | Wanderer | Sri Lankan|

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Photo of author in 2019 at NTU, Singapore (Photo credits: Daniel Ng)


I’m Rochelle Silva, a second-year PhD student at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. I was born and bred in Sri Lanka, a beautiful country aptly called “The pearl of the Indian Ocean”.

I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, with a first-class, a minor in entrepreneurship, and focusing on “Food and Biochemical Engineering”.

I’m dedicated to the work that I do. Because of this, I have been recognized at different organizations including being awarded as the most outstanding student at school in 2012 (Holy Cross College, Gampaha, Sri Lanka) and…

Poetry Prompt: your favourite kind of sandwich

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A nice breakfast with an egg sandwich with bonito flakes and Kewpie mayo (Photo by Lars Millberg on Unsplash)

Protein and Carbo,
A warm, soft, and creamy delight,
Joy on a plate.

Whenever I go to a sandwich place, I look for one of my favourite combinations of all time: egg mayo! Yes, it might seem a bit strange to have two egg components, but it means double the “eggcitement”, and I thank Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她) for prompting me to think about it.

You can read her eggcellent take at it here:

Tagging: Kasun Ranasinghe| Amy Marley| Jenine Bsharah Baines | Cooking at Home | Dr. …

Do you believe that pigs can fly?

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Image by sandid from Pixabay

A few weeks back, I received an incredibly cute ‘angel pig’ from a friend. While admiring the sheer creativity of the gift, I remembered an article another friend of mine had written sometime back. Titled ’cause pigs can fly’, it elegantly explained the whys and wherefores of making pigs fly. In brief, it was about the need to ‘believe in the possibility of the impossible in order to survive’.

All of us have some seemingly impossible dreams within us. We have talents that, if nurtured properly, could stun the world and bring about a positive change in society. Yet we…

Reflections on researching as an undergraduate

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Design by Rochelle Silva

Tell me a bit about yourself

Hi! You can call me Harsha Chamara, a fresh graduate from the Department of Transport and Logistics Management, University of Moratuwa. I am currently employed as a Business Analyst at ITX360, a subsidiary of EXPO LANKA group. In terms of my academic career, I am pursuing my MSc at the University of Moratuwa in the domains of Machine Learning and Human Behaviour in the retail sector.

Can you tell me more about the achievements you had for your undergraduate research?

Sure, I received the following accolades.

  • Best Undergraduate Research Award for the year 2019…

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Sketched by Rochelle Silva (©2015)

Artwork and poetry

Writing Prompt: Do you feel connected? [Trigger Warning: Anxiety]

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Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

Feels physical.
A red, hot pair of hands,
Clutching my neck,
Squeezing it slowly,
But surely.

It’s been more than one year,
Since we were close together,
Enjoying the silence.

I try to repress those emotions,
Since they have no form of release,
Through a tender kiss, a hug, or a cuddle.

Anxiety tightens around my neck.

I imagine the red colour fading,
Replaced by chocolate brown -
The colour of your skin.

I imagine the squeezing hands relaxing,
Now they’re holding me tight,
Stroking my head,
Telling me, “Its gonna be okay, baby”.

“Its gonna be okay…


Prompt: childhood dreams

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Photo by Kazuo OTA on Unsplash

I always had this struggle,
“Whom do I want to be?”,
A speaker on a stage?
An actress dressed in fancy clothes?
An astronaut hurtling through space,
A ballerina twirling and pirouetting?
A scientist finding a cure for illness?
A teacher inspiring young minds?
A designer creating otherworldly spaces?
An artist painting to her heart’s content?

Whom do I want to be?
Will I ever find out?
Will I ever stick to one?

Prompt: Childhood dreams (Do you remember your childhood dreams? Are you following what you dreamed of? Or did you discover something much better?)

Tagging Lucy The Eggcademic…


Reflections on researching as an undergraduate

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Design by Rochelle Silva

Tell me a bit about yourself

I am Rathnayake Mudiyanselage Asitha Gayan Bandara Rathnayake (trust me, when I was schooling, this was considered a pretty normal length name!) My family is from a city towards the centre of Sri Lanka called Kurunegala, which is a beautiful, yet not so touristy area.

Some of my best memories were made in Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala, where I went to school for 13 (13 and a half?) years. I did my A/Ls in Mathematics stream in 2014 and got into the University of Moratuwa. There, I became the 21st in a batch of about 725 in our 1st semester exam…


Reflections on researching as an undergraduate

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Design credits: Rochelle Silva

As a continuation of earlier articles (1, 2) about sharing research experiences with undergraduates, I had a chat with another friend of mine, Chamode, whom I got to know during my time at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. He is currently a Masters of Applied Sciences student and Graduate Research Assistant at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Can you tell me about the research component you had in your curriculum?

In the curriculum of the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering of the University of Moratuwa, we have to actively engage in a research project throughout both semesters…

Poetry Prompt: What does a specific word in your language mean?

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Photo by Robert Larsson on Unsplash

Great place to let your hair down,
Eat your favourite snacks without being judged,
Dressed up in a comfy old pyjama,
Arguing but enjoying time with family.
Resting place for a tired body and mind,
A place I haven’t visited this year.

The word I chose: ‘Gedara’ (ගෙදර) means ‘Home’ in Sinhalese. Since I’m studying overseas, I was not able to go home for about one year — certainly missing it a lot, and hoping that the next year will be better!

Prompt: An acrostic poem about one word from your language and every letter represents something that explains what…

Rochelle Silva

PhD student @ NTU 🇸🇬| Logophile | Artist| Wanderer | Coffee Lover | Sri Lankan| | Buy me a ☕

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