zindagī yuuñ huī basar tanhā

qāfila saath aur safar tanhā

This week literally passed in a daze. Most times, I felt whatever I was doing was mechanical and things just kept happening one after the other. This is not to say that the nature of whatever I was doing was mechanical - just that I did’t have a lot of time to think what was to be done next. Was that coherent? Maybe not. Anyway.

  • Watched three movies this week. Two of them pretty short, but anyway
    • Piled Higher and Deeper - Okay, you could say this was an indie movie with a lot of non-professionals involved, but even after taking that into consideration, this was a really badly made film. It wanted to be a mockumentary on research life, but seemed more like a hammy version of it with some meaningless internal references inserted. No plotline, very bad camerawork, and horrible editing.

    • Piled Higher and Deeper: Still in Grad School - A follow up to the earlier movie (oh, did I mention these are created by the same guy who writes PhD Comics? Check ‘em out, they’re really fun!). This one looked like it had a bigger budget, at least two professional actors and also a few of out very own physics rockstars thrown in (John Preskill and Sean Carroll)! I had fun watching the film, and frankly didn’t pay attention to the finer aspects of its artistry.

    • Contratiempo (or the Invisible Guest) - This seems like what a commercial Indian thriller film would look like if made with cool looking Spanish locations with breathtaking shots and background score. A film that kept me very engaged till the end, but somehow didn’t resonate with me well after.

  • I actually went ahead and started two new books this week. One is Hans Rosling’s Factfulness. It is very readable in its exposition of its central theme, but I don’t know if I am gonna take away a lot from the book.

    The other book I started is a rather short one at around 90 pages - A Practical Handbook for the Actor. This is partly due to the fact that I have to act in the play which is coming up. The book seems very informative to an amateur like me, where the whats, whys and the hows of acting are discussed in very brief.

  • Two workouts this week. Well, better than last week.

  • At work, I spent a lot of my time in doing assignments. We also continued our Thursday discussion sessions, where we discussed Parameter Estimation from Sivia’s book.

    The weekly colloquim on Monday was delivered by Prof. Rohini Balakrishnan on Acoustic Communication in Crickets: Small Brains, Big Problems, Smart Solutions. It was an insanely interesting talk, where Rohini described the ears of crickets and how their memory is higely different from ours. She also discussed a few field experiments that they had done. I had a I’m-so-excited smile on my face throughout the talk! I have noticed how, of late, I have been mesmerized by problems in biology, maybe I should do something about it. (?)

  • We rehearsed for at least two hours every day of the week for the play; sometimes even three, four or five. Yeah, theatre is no child’s play. Frankly, I feel very tired everyday after theatre practice. It is physically as well as mentally draining, but also immensely enlightening to not be doing.

Chaliye, shab-ba-khair. Par usse pehle, wapis Gulzar saab ke bol suniyega -

raat bhar bāteñ karte haiñ taare

raat kaaTe koī kidhar tanhā