Hello, readers! (Yeah, hi Shubhu, you’re really my only reader.)

Was a pretty hectic week with two huge-ass assignments, one test, and lots of work.

  • Could just sneak in one movie this week, on Saturday - The Namesake, directed by Mira Nair, written by Sooni Taraporevala, and based on the book of the same name written by Jhumpa Lahiri. Now Mira and Taraporevala have made one of my favourite movies of all time (Monsoon Wedding), and I love them for it. I have read a couple of books by Lahiri, and I must confess that she is a wonderful writer. Her stories are mostly centered on the lives of non-resident Indians in America (or elsewhere), their struggles and their conflicts.

There is a stellar cast here - Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Kal Penn etc. The conflicts are very clearly established, and most of them, especially the ones to deal with the former two are very well resolved. I am not going to write a very long review (partly because I am sleepy), but you can check out the Letterboxd review, should I choose to update it.

  • I didn’t really make much progress on reading Leila, but Ankita, a friend from college, came out with her new book! Titled Of Storms and Resolutions, it is available to read online. I had the pleasure of reading some of the stories before it went public, and they were really good!

  • Only three workout days this week, primarily because I didn’t wanna sacrifice my sleep and productivity. Maybe I should figure out what one should do when faced with the sleep vs exercise conflict.

  • At work, most of the time was spent doing (or trying to do, and sorta failing to do) the assignments. Like I said last time, I am getting tired of coursework, and am really thankful I wouldn’t have to do any more of them after this semester :D

    Other than that, it was a really productive week as well. One of my colleagues and I have started this weekly discussion on aspects of Gravitational Waves, and I gave a lightning fast introduction to General Relativity. The process of preparing the ‘lecture’ made me do a deep dive into the basic calculations that give us the Christoffel Symbols, Riemann Tensor, Einstein Tensor and finally the Field Equations. I also took the toy problem of perturbations around a flat metric and proved that these perturbations could satisfy some kind of wave equation (and hence give some gravitational waves!). We also did the introductory chapters from the book by Sivia, as also a numerical example which illustrated that the role of the prior becomes less and less important when we start getting more and more data.

    We also had a journal club discussion of Vijay Varma’s recent paper (with collaborators) on surrogate modelling. It was my first brush with the topic, and from what I saw, it seemed like very smart work. Will probably try to read it in more careful detail sometime soon. Here’s a popular article on this work, if you’re interested.

    The next journal club, I’ll be presenting the Sennett paper on Boson Star tidal Love numbers. Wish me luck :)

  • On Sunday, I met Shreya, and we have some really good food. She told me Tera dil goonga ho gaya hai. (Your heart has gone dumb), and I think that is an apt description of my state. We also met Aayushmaan for dessert, and after bidding goodbye to Shreya, Aayush and I went to the Kaapi with Kuriosity lecture by Eknath Ghate of TIFR. Aayush came out being disillusioned with mathematics and mathematicians, and feeling that ‘math is a scam’.

  • Oh, and remember the play? We were all assigned characters, and I got one of the meaty roles! Also realized that acting is a very tough job. The coming week should be very exciting - watch this space for more :D.

Hope the week went well for you too. For those in Bengaluru - What the fuck is up with the weather? If you figure out, let me know.

Be well, and bye!