Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tea, Cigarettes and a series of conversations

I was supposed to leave for Peru from Mumbai on a specific day a few weeks back. Eventually went three days later than scheduled. I was travelling with my brother-in-law's sister (We had a tough time explaining what we were to each other, to a random set of people. Eventually Kripa(thats my bil's sis' name) settled for co-brother. Neither of us knew if that was right, but that was the briefest thing she could come up with!!). Anyways, we had some trouble with emigration and were holed out in Mumbai for three days. We stayed in the TIFR[Tata Institute of Fundamental Research] hostel (Kripa had friends there). I kindof fell in love with the place and was contemplating applying for a PhD there. With time, reason(and money) prevailed and i wudnt think of giving up my job for something related and less paying (it is still ok to leave it all for something tangential, if you want to that is).
Met a few amazing people there (Sanjeev, his wife Amritha - these two were our official hosts; and Gautham - i stayed in his room). I kindof like the scientific community. The few people i met were extremely broadminded and reasonable and didnt live inside pseudo-boundaries. I kindof found it refreshing and different and relateable. These 3 would probably rank among the laziest days in my life. All i did was smoke, drink (tea/alcohol), talk, eat, sleep, read, in varying orders for three days, besides a couple of runs relating to our emigration. I did have to live through some major physics discussions about why two bacteria cant manage to walk in parallell for too long because of the nature of their flagellar motion and other heavier stuff which went above of my head (Gautham is a Physics PhD, Kripa and Sanjeev are in the 6th year of the PhD effort in smething related to Theoritical Physics). It still felt good to be witness to animated discussions of things i didnt totally understand (confession - i could not comprehend Resnick&Halliday in 11th standard and realized i wasnt IIT material, could not comprehend Milman&Halkeas in Engineering and had to settle for Gaur&Gupta and a mere pass in Engineering physics).
When we left mumbai, i was kindof thankful for the emigration delay and the brief stay in TIFR.
We did manage to go to Peru, catch up wth Sis, bil and his parents, and do the Inca trail to Maachu Picchu. Was good fun, and a good break from a fairly mad work schedule i had subjected myself to. Except that instead of getting recharged, my batteries are all discharged:), gotta pull up my socks and get back to proper work.
Will post some pics from the trip sometime...