Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Can it get more WTF ?

Apparently Dumbledore is gay. If I had heard just that, I would have said, “OK, whatever” and forgotten about this, but then I read this. And so I have to go…WTF?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Back at the desk

After almost a month of traveling and almost a month before that of nearly complete chaos, I am back at my desk for what I hope is an uninterrupted stint of atleast a few months (the next anticipated travel and craziness as things stand now is in March). I had fun. Paris was hectic and might as well have been in the States or anywhere else in the world for all the Parisian things I got to do. Spain was fun. It was hectic there too, but atleast I got to do a few things, like eat the world’s best chocolate cake at Habanita’s, a little natural foods eatery in Sevilla, while having interesting conversations with old friends and some new ones as well. And then I went home. To Madras Nalla Madras.

I went back with apprehension. The place must have changed, I clearly have changed. Will I still have the euphoric sensation I used to have in days past whenever I had been away for any stretch (short trips of a week or so when I was a kid to a few months at a time when I was in college) and I saw the first signpost, either on the road or on the train station, proclaiming I was in Madras? You know what? I did! And it was not an illusion in that the subsequent two weeks I had so much fun and fitted right in!

Lots of things have changed. I was completely unable to make my way around madras, what with all the roads being one-way now and most right turns that used to be there eliminated. My only consolation was that my dad and almost every autowallah I talked to said they had the same problem as the whole system was apparently still dynamic and evolving! The former cool places have now moved to second rung with other new places taking the forefront. An instance of the magnitude of change is the picture here of the Madras Bangalore highway, where the toll booths are now open and only a few miles of the road is still “under construction” and they appear to be actually constructing in the said patches.

Did a lot of traveling as well, so as to reintroduce myself to the theoretical physics community in India to facilitate the job search that must start shortly. Even if I wished for it and I have not decided if I do or do not yet, I cannot stay a post doc for ever, can I? And Tangled, sorry I did not get to meet you in B’lore. I was only there for about 48 hours and two seminars I had to give and family took up every minute of it.

That’s it then. I am assiduously weeding through my feed reader to get caught up on what all of you guys have been talking about. I am down to 600 something posts now. Will be back to normal on all fronts in a week or so I hope and “pray”! :))

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Travel Snapshots 1

Air India : In spite of accumulating a very large number of transatlantic miles over the years, this was my first time flying Air India. Have not been able to make up my mind whether better food and more leg room is fair trade for the stewardesses treating you like ill behaved school children on a picnic.

South of spain : Beautiful! I had forgotten how much I liked Sevilla. Too much work and hence too little site seeing, but just walking around the crowded town was fun enough. And the town has changed some, and become cleaner and prettier. I like it better, even though you will be hard pressed to find a local that agrees with me.

Madras airport : Super cool! Much nicer immigration hall, and every phone, escalator and restroom I saw were in good shape. I was impressed. But I still had people cutting me in the lines, so that has not changed.

Food on the streets of Madras: American Sweet Corn at every corner, restaurants serving burgers and fish and chips and lasagna! Not that I ate any of this, I just saw them. The last time I was here, these were expensive places for the few, but now they are everywhere and only about as expensive as the 50 Rs cups of coffee everybody appears to be drinking here!

TV: Bol, India Bol…the catch line for the reliance mobile ad, my man ARR in the Airtel ad, the former MP getting the death sentence leading the news, the story about the bad wheat in the PDS on IBN, T.I.M.E Now dwelling on the Snehashish Ganguly story (with oh so many WTF comments)

Simple Pleasures so far : The Hindu and coffee at 6 am. Pani poori, uthappam, home cooked food I did not make.
Ok ...off to watch India vs Australia to the sound of hindi commentry on DD now.

Am back!

I have been gone so long from this world, I don’t know where to start my “re-entry program”! So, I will just begin what I hope will be a sequence of travel posts till I am back in New York and then resume more serious blogging/catching up. Let us see how this goes.