Hi! From Lonar

It’s September. I’ve moved to Lonar and moved my family here for work. It has a hypervelocity crater and the work doesn’t give me too much time to spend there.

Back to Mumbai

I went through quite a series of unfortunate events the past couple of weeks which put me off wanting to update anyone about anything. The latest of which has me in bed with a sprain in the back with a very slow recovery.

The only good news has been that I’m back with D and the kid after a separation of 7 months.

In the period while D was away, I expected to be more involved in stuff I was interested in. But, I went through a deep dive asking myself what I really knew about things I prided myself on knowing. The answer came back as not much. So began a process again of narrowing focus and looking at things I wanted to take deep dives in and things that just infatuated me at that moment.

I think back now on the 7 months as lost months where I lost an opportunity to know things better than I already had. Now, the focus is on the kid and I’ve put aside my own interests. Focussing on work and home and more on home than work.

October 20, 2017 Mumbai

I dreamt of PSLVs

So, last night I dreamed of PSLV. The PSLV-C39 mission failed a few days back and it’s possible return to Earth has been in the news for the past few days. ISRO has been putting updates of it’s fuel being vented and a possible crash landing in the Pacific Ocean sometime in the next two months.

I dreamed that the fourth stage of the PSLV landed on the street in front of my apartment building, trashed a few trees and landed right near the gate of the temple nearby. The priest, who it nearly missed by inches, thought of it as divine intervention and immediately started performing rituals. Awoken by the sound from my afternoon slumber, I looked out and identified the PSLV from the Indian flag and the national emblem emblazoned on it but kept quiet.

A few minutes later members of the emergency services tried to isolate and retrieve the object, thanking the gods for saving so many lives. To their astonishment the early morning temple goers cordoned off the area and refused to co-operate in any effort to move the object.

The rituals went on till the early morning resisting all efforts of the emergency services to retrieve the object.

I have no recollection of the next few steps I took, but I was speeding down NH-47, the fourth stage on the back of a truck. I then spent the next 4 years building a PSLV in Palakkad. After 15 launches of my re-hashed version of the PSLV, I sit on a porch reading the front page of The Week calling me India’s answer to Elon Musk. Thankfully, I woke up by this time.

google play music

I went off music for a long period because India did not have a platform like Pandora. This was because listening to streaming music in India was a frustrating experience. Poor data connection, high cost for said data connection and the lack of an affordable platform.

google Play Music solved all these issues for me. I’v been listening to music like I did in my college days and have been enjoying the experience for the past month or so.

Raining

I made a small video to catch the incessant rain we had in Mumbai today to show D & R. Thought I’d share it here as well.

Mumbai, India

Link Forest

I returned from Palakkad last Saturday. It was a heart wrenching experience to be separated, ergo temporarily, from your wife and daughter again. While there, I read a lot on my mobile while the wife and daughter were sleeping. These I bookmarked and am now posting here for my own reference. I have bunched them together under headings as I sort them.

Space

Telescopes of the World: India’s Devasthal Telescope: I had a fascination with observatories and learning more about them to improve articles on Wikipedia. I even planned a tour of all Indian observatories. In the meanwhile, loved reading this description of India’s ARIES Observatory at Nainital by Sandhya Ramesh.

India’s Star Rises Higher with LIGO’s Third Gravitational Wave Detection: I always enjoy reading stuff on astrophysics. But, sometimes don’t have the right mindset. This article actually put me in the right mindset (by mentioning ASTROSAT) before letting me enjoy reading about gravitational waves. This is an excellent piece by Vasudevan Mukunth writing for The Wire. He also wrote a nice overview of science journalism in India over on his personal blog.

Talking Space with Tim Peake: I had never known about Richard Branson’s blog before this piece came online on Twitter. Here he shares about a talk with British astronaut Tim Peake who has just returned after spending 6 months in space. Includes some lovely photos that scaled well even for my mobile device.

Aadhar

The Aadhar is something that I have no clear opinion on and started reading lots of stuff recently to learn more. I still don’t understand the various standpoints. Most of the stuff that I did read ended up being anti-Aadhar.

Both Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation had blog posts on why having Aadhar in its current form is a bad idea.

I got sidetracked by some interesting detective work by Kiran Jonnalagadda and his description of it here, on the troll’s denial and the afterglow. It is always great to see a troll unmasked. I wish more unmaskings happen. Thejesh GN has a nice summary on his blog as well.

I’ve read nothing really good in the pro-Aadhar camp online. But, in my work in the bank I’ve had a few customers in the bank I work in who were from the country side who say that the direct benefit transfer that was started has been good and worked well for the most part. They had to undergo a few discomforts but they shirk it all off as getting used to a new system. These people support linking Aadhar to other schemes and facilities as well.

Economics

  1. Stock Market – A Bull on Steroids
  2. GST – No Panacea
  3. The Unseen Economics of Jan Dhan Yojana – I have not seen any writing on the Jan Dhan Yojana that explores these particular themes.

Politics

I’ve been quite impressed to read the writing of Meghanad S related to Parliamentary democracy that we practice here in India. One highlights our poor understanding of how the Parliamentary democracy works and our incorrect expectations from it. The other tries to help us understand how the Government has changed the way the central government shares the tax money it earns with the state and the various challenges and changes that throws up.

The other political piece that I read was one trying to understand the Modi Government’s foreign policy stance.

Miscellaneous

Several odds and ends thrown in here.

  1. Using Toyota’s 5S principles in keeping homes clean and tidy. I read this more to revise the concepts of the 5S principles than with any intention of keeping the home clean.
  2. A nice review of a newly opened cafe in Sikkim with beautiful pictures and a very inviting cafe. Also, Sikkim would be the place I would run away to.
  3. Matt Mullenweg shares whats in his bag in 2017.
  4. I have mixed feelings about farming but have ideas about farming for self-sustenance some day. I was mulling over this stance of mine related to farming when Better India published this nice piece on Zero Based Natural Farming (ZBNF). This also talks of implementing this in the Beed district of Maharashtra.
  5. Really loved this show & tell edition of the Bullet Journal. Working towards making mine look even better.

That’s all. When I put it all down, doesn’t seem like I read a lot. Probably because I read bits between baby sleep cycles.

Becoming a Father

I’m in Palakkad right now. I became a father to a baby girl on April 25, 2017. The experience has been overwhelming. Both the mother and daughter are doing fine. 

I’m back in Palakkad again after a few days here at the end of April for my daughter’s 28th day ceremony. We’ve named her Rithika.

What do I do?

Every time I attend any meetup, I find it difficult to explain why I am there. I attended the Kilter pre-conference meetup in Mumbai today and found myself in a similar predicament.

I limit my introductions to the fact that I work in a public sector bank and don’t go beyond that. People who know me from meeting me at different junctures know me for the various interest I had had when they met me. I have moved on mostly. Currently, just working in a bank and my family keeps me occupied enough to prevent me from doing anything else.

No, that’s not entirely true. I have gotten more and more lazy and hence have not found the time for any of my other interests other than reading. I have, hence, been below the radar.

This then confuses the new people that I meet as to why I am there.