Friday, December 21, 2007

Flight report

The flight report read:

35000 feet in the air,
830 km per hour,
An hour long walk in the clouds,
Missed you like hell,
Wished you were with me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Dark Side of the Moon

NO...this is not another depressing a way it is but not really.
This will depress every Bangalorean, my well-wisher or not.

The roads in Bangalore are a mess...its more like a little bit of road to sort of bridge the potholes.
Most roads are also not very well lit.
A rickshaw ride through these roads is not essentially different from a ride on a moon-buggy.
Bone-jarring, intestine-injuring rides.
Then something happened yesterday that shook me in my entirety...more on it here.

The papers screamed that a crane, in trying to avoid a pothole, ended up killing a woman.
Scary!! Very scary.

Maybe the potholes will be filled...maybe we have to wait for a new government for it.

But till then if you are coming to Bangalore (the IT capital of the country...IT = irritating Traffic)

Welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Everytime that I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face gettin clearer
The past is gone
It went by like dust to dawn
Isnt that the way
Everybodys got their dues in life to pay

I know what nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know its everybodys sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Half my life is in books written pages
Live and learn from fools and from sages
You know its true
All the things come back to you

Monday, October 29, 2007

What the hell!!!!!!!!

This is Chetana's blog on emotional quotient

Took the emotional quotient test from that link:
Plz visit the above link.

This is my result:

Your EQ is 133

50 or less: Thanks for answering honestly. Now get yourself a shrink, quick!

51-70: When it comes to understanding human emotions, you'd have better luck understanding Chinese.

71-90: You've got more emotional intelligence than the average frat boy. Barely.

91-110: You're average. It's easy to predict how you'll react to things. But anyone could have guessed that.

111-130: You usually have it going on emotionally, but roadblocks tend to land you on your butt.

131-150: You are remarkable when it comes to relating with others. Only the biggest losers get under your skin.

150+: Two possibilities - you've either out "Dr. Phil-ed" Dr. Phil... or you're a dirty liar.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Confessions of a Mama's Boy

You can fool all of the people some of the time,
You can fool some of the people all of the time,


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Way back into love...

Chetana sent me this really nice song from Music and Lyrics.
Ppl around me seem to be breaking up left, right and center...the ones that aren't breaking up are cynical and wary of the concept of love itself...they say its a sure way to hurt yourself.

Here are the lyrics...Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant singing.

I've been living with a shadow overhead,
I've been sleeping with a cloud above my bed,
I've been lonely for so long,
Trapped in the past,
I just can't seem to move on!

I've been hiding all my hopes and dreams away,
Just in case I ever need them again someday,
I've been setting aside time,
To clear a little space in the corners of my mind!

All I want to do is find a way back into love.
I can't make it through without a way back into love.

I've been watching but the stars refuse to shine,
I've been searching but i just don't see the signs,
I know that it's out there,
There's got to be something for my soul somewhere!

I've been looking for someone to shed some light,
Not somebody just to get me through the night,
I could use some direction,
And I'm open to your suggestions.

All I want to do is find a way back into love.
I can't make it through without a way back into love.
And if I open my heart again,
I guess I'm hoping you'll be there for me in the end!

There are moments when I don't know if it's real
Or if anybody feels the way I feel
I need inspiration
Not just another negotiation

All I want to do is find a way back into love,
I can't make it through without a way back into love,
And if I open my heart to you,
I'm hoping you'll show me what to do,
And if you help me to start again,
You know that I'll be there for you in the end!

Here's hoping people find their ways back into love and into hope.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Finding Neverland

Previously this post would have been titled "Coming Back to Life"...but there have been a few of those. The ones that fool you into believing you're back and then its back to the pits.

Recently life seems to be looking up...the slope is positive and the double derivative is positive and greater than 1 too.
Atleast it isnt the decomposing, sitting-doing-nothing kind of life. Stuff seems to be moving, there is a lot to do and little time to do it in. Better than little to do and lots of time I think.
The general outlook towards life seems to be improving...seem to laugh a lot more these days.
The spring in the step is back,
and more importantly a spark in the eye, which I thought I had lost is back.
Wonder what CATalyzed the CATharsis.

Is it time I find neverland...that promised land where dreams come true?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Room with a View...

Took these photos from my hostel room on Monday evening...
This time no converting to black and white...the magic is in the colours.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunscreen song

Chetana gave me this wonderful are the lyrics.
Google for the Sunscreen might find the mp3 somewhere.
Wonderful advice

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97

Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.

The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, ............
whereas the rest of my advice has no basis
more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.

Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power
and beauty of your youth until they've faded.

But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself
and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you
and how fabulous you really looked.

You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future.

Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things
that never crossed your worried mind,
the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.

Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy.

Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind.

The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults.

If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.

The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.

Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees.

You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.

Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.

Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken
on your 75th wedding anniversary.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either.

Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body.

Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it.

It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

"brother and sister together we'll make it through,

someday a spirit will take you and guide you there

I know that you're hurting but i've been waiting there for you

and I'll be there just helping you out

whenever I can"

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle,
because the older you get, the more you need the people
who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths:

Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old.

And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young,
prices were reasonable, politicians were noble,
and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you.

Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse.
But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal,
wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

"brother and sister together we'll make it through,

someday a spirit will take you and guide you there

I know that you're hurting but I've been waiting there for you

and I'll be there just helping you out

whenever I can

everybody's free

everybody's free

to feel good"

Friday, September 07, 2007

Social Not-working

First there was Orkut...
Then a slew of others.
Apparently to keep in touch with old/long-lost friends.
Apparently to 'make' new friends.
Then the Brazilians and Despos took over orkut...there were infinite posts in Portuguese and as many 'fraandship' requests.
Lately there have been cases of identity thefts.

People like me got on to the bandwagon for its novelty...that has definitely worn off.
What is the use of having 500 friends if u can't really find one to speak to when you really are alone?
What is the use of having 500 'friends' when 5 really good ones should sufffice?
Bye bye Orkut and its ilk.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A fleeting glimpse...

There is an image from my Mumbai visit in June end that has endured in my mind. I was walking with my mom to Shivaji park I think when we passed a boy returning home from school. He wasn’t the cutest kid …but something about him caught my fancy.

It was drizzling and he had a raincoat on with a hood. He was carrying a school bag and had a water bottle around his neck.

What caught my attention was that he had his face turned towards the drizzle. The eyes were tightly shut and there was an innocent joy on his face, looked like he hadn’t a care in the world…I tried to remember when I had done something so simple so spontaneously last. I dearly wished I had a camera with me to capture that moment forever.

The joy on his face was indescribable…I have forgotten what such simple joy is and can’t find the words to describe it.

Maybe this is what PF were hinting at when they sang

When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse

out of the corner of my eyes…

He was having his glimpse of joy, a simple , guileless joy…let’s hope it is not a fleeting one.

Monday, August 27, 2007

R.I.P my friend

I was shaken out of the stupor that studying stochastic processes generates by the loud crying of some girl near my hostel. As I looked out from my balcony it turned out to be someone I knew.
She was mourning the death of one of her batchmates,Ajay, who committed suicide probably in the early hours of the morning of 27th August.
I must have seen this guy in the mess, though I never probably personally met him.
The reasons are as yet unknown (atleast to me), but the general feeling is there was too much pressure in his course.
He was an Integrated PhD student in his 2nd year, he joined IISc with me last year.
He must have been barely 21-22...did he find himself unable to resist the pressure?
It is said "No pressure, no diamonds" but what about the 'corundum' that might just be crushed under the pressure that is meant for only diamonds? Is it not equally precious?
Was there some other reason? We don't know, and we might never know.
Whatever the reasons the question remains:

Maybe he found what he longed for:
A little rest and some peace.

The solutions may not necessarily be very forthcoming.
A lot of soul-searching needs to be every one of us.
The course load on the students could be reduced, a student mentor program could be started.
But really was it worth the one, very precious, very promising life that was lost.

And this is not the first time someone in one of India's 'premier' institutions has taken this drastic step.
As Bob Dylan asks :
n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?

Maybe this song by REM could tell us something:
When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on

'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Friendship Day...

Making a friend is not a miracle.
the miracle is making a friend who will stand by you when a million are against you.

One of the many Friendship Day smses I got.

I had fun too...went to Domino's ...ALONE!!
So much for Friendship Day.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A year

A year ago I flew to bangalore to join IISc.
Full of hope yet pained to leave loved ones and the city I love so much.
A year ago I wrote Goodbye Blue tribute to what I was leaving behind.

In this year some of my dreams were fulfilled, some remain yet unfulfilled and some crushed.
A year of growth, of hope, despair, frustration,excitement.

As is my common comment
so much has changed...yet so much remains the same.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lesson for LIFE

The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.
- Napoleon Bonaparte

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Deja vu??

FedEx makes it five in a row at Wimbledon but it was Raphael Nadal who won my heart.

In 1980, Bjorn Borg beat an extremely talented young left-hander in 5 tight sets to win his fifth Wimbledon title.
.I’ve seen the replay of that match and the young lefthander pull off that amazing 18-16 set 4. Today’s lefthander pulled off an equally stunning 6-2 set 4.
That guy had a permanent scowl on his face, and was constantly challenging line calls.
See the parallels? Getting a sense of the déjà vu?
I’m looking forward to this rivalry and sincerely hoping Federer does not pull a Borg with respect to retirement.

Rafa is the King of Clay and might well add grass to his repertoire.

As he pulled off shot after amazing shot,

Alan Wilkins said “This is grass not clay.This is not his surface.”

Well given the improvement he is showing, it very well may become HIS surface.

How many think that its unfair that its Federer and not Sampras who equals the IceBorg’s record? Would have been such fun to see those two go at each other.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Home, home again ...

I go back to Bangalore today.
Last year I put the lyrics of Goodbye Blue Sky.
This year its the Breathe reprise.

Home, home again

I like to be here when I can
And when I come home cold and tired
Its good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.

Breathe (reprise) Pink Floyd

Nothing better than the BEST...

an unbelievable change in the BEST buses I saw this time...
not only can you pay your Hutch bills in the BEST bus but u can even make calls from


Here's photo proof.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Words are beautiful things, perhaps the tongue is not the best way of using them.
- Ankur's first blog.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Walk the Talk

This quote on GMail got me started thinking about this

Bobby Knight - "Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win."

So many people I see or hear from can Talk the Talk but can't Walk the Walk.

Maybe that's why Morpheus tells Neo in the Matrix:

"One day you will realize just this one fact,

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path"

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Recent events have made me wonder what this "friendship" thingie is all about.
It's not what you feel about classmates/batchmates in engineering that wears out the moment you step out of college.
It's what makes you spend a reasonable amount of money and a lot of effort to spend a few hours with a select few friends. Of course exceptions exist.(I couldn't meet everyone I wanted to meet the last, short trip).
I will still be friendly with my classmates, but with most of them I am not and was never "FRIENDS"
This quote I got on iGoogle summed it up for me wrt most of my 'friends'.

Contrary to general belief, I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who got there first. - Peter Ustinov

Ankur said "Friends are the people you don't have to impress anymore."
friends are the people who have accepted your shortcomings and love you nonetheless.

These lines from the FRIENDS theme or whatever would sum up how I feel:

No one could ever know me
No one could ever see me
Seems you're the only one who knows
What it's like to be me

Someone to face the day with
Make it through all the rest with
Someone I'll always laugh with
Even at my worst I'm best with you

To tell the truth, there's very few such people in my life...and if anything I am thankful for them.
And he talks to the river of lost love and dedication
And silent replies that swirl invitation
Flow dark and troubled to an oily sea
A grim intimation of what is to be

There's an unceasing wind that blows through this night
And there's dust in my eyes, that blinds my sight
And silence that speaks so much louder that words,
Of promises broken

Sorrow ,Pink Floyd

Monday, June 11, 2007

Bittersweet Symphony

Love this song by the Verve. A part of it was used in Bluffmaster.

The whole song

Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
You're a slave to the money then you die.(
True, very true)
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet yeah

No change, I can't change
I can't change, I can't change
But I'm here in my mould
I am here in my mould
But I'm a million different people
from one day to the next
I can't change my mould
No, no, no, no, no, no, no,no,no,no,no,no(fading away)

Well I never pray
But tonight I'm on my knees yeah (
not really)
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now
But the airways are clean and there's nobody singing to me now

'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
Trying to find some money (
somebody) then you die
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet yeah.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Words' worth

Had posted this a few months ago...then took it off because it was adding too much entropy to the Universe.
There is a great deal of verbal communication in the world today. Letters,phone calls,emails,chats,blogs(:P) infinity of words.

I for one believe that the best communication involves zero or a minimal amount of words.

What a million words of commiseration could not do...a sigh and 6 words did.
It felt like an arm round the shoulder ...and all those wise men and women with their words did not realize that that was what I needed.

A few friends and a completely different topic had me laughing on the worst day of my life.

No amount of words can do what one look into the eyes of a friend trying desperately to hold back her tears did.

I went out for dinner once by myself...a couple sat on the table facing me.
The girl was trying to hold back her tears. The guy sat opposite her,not eating ...just looking into her eyes...almost soothing her...not one word was said.
I smiled.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Grass was Greener...

Met Ankur, Prasanna and Paresh this last Saturday.
Had a lot of fun...but I must admit I was also a bit sad.
There is something about meeting old friends, exchanging notes on who is doing what, gossiping(if that is what you call it) makes you look back at how you were when you were with them.
It was great to meet them because very rarely do you get a group of friends together that can understand precisely what I am going through...undoubtedly my closest friends.
The same jokes were back, the mimicry, the leg pulling over how sincerely I attended 12th std classes while these ppl goofed off.
It reminded me of those days 6-7 years ago...the innocent belief that if you were smart, worked hard then luck would not play a role...that doing beautiful mathematics was the purpose of life, that physics was the highest in intellectual endeavour.
Where is that cheerful belief, that innocent confidence??

It takes old friends to remind you of who you were, who you are and what you are turning into.
Maybe I can prevent the cynicism from creeping into me any further.
Maybe I can find my 'Return to Innocence'

Last September Ankur wrote this.
I can identify with the emotion...Thanks for everything guys!!

An old song that fits the mood ...
"Koi lauta de mere beete hue din".

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


This is my life's song right now...wasting one day at a time getting nowhere.

TIME - Pink Floyd

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day

You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the english way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Coorg tripping...

Kanna planned a trip for us to Coorg with stay at the Club Mahindra resort in Kodagu valley.
Amazing 3 days...LOADS of FUN!!!!!!!

Won't write much since a picture is worth a thousand words...I'll let the photos do the talking.
A few B&W pics for "effect".
For the full album visit my Picasaweb page.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Rematch

In 2005 two 'not-so-great','undeserving' English teams won the greatest prize their sport had to offer that year against 2 Champion sides:
In May Liverpool beat Milan in the Champions League final in what was called '6 minutes of madness' or something like that.
In July and August of the same year England beat Australia 2-1 in the Ashes with a lot of luck.
It pained me to see Warney and McGrath bowl their hearts out on the last day of the 5th Test as the Englishmen drudged their way to a draw and an Ashes victory.
That day I predicted they would get Whitewashed the next time they went to Australia.
The hunger was visible in the Aussies, in Warne and McGrath, in Lee and Ponting and Hayden and Gilchrist to make up for loss.
I had predicted a whitewash, a whitewash it was, Australia thr"ASHES" England.

Now Milan have a chance to get even...and a 5-0 scoreline would just ROCK!!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

But it rained

April 11th 2007.
It rained at night here in Bangalore.
I was reminded of some of my favourite Pink Floyd lines:

Outside the rain fell dark and slow
While I pondered on this dangerous but irresistible pastime
I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life

I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the waiting had begun
And headed straight...into the shining sun

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Used to see this ad when the NBA matches were shown on Star Sports and ESPN.
Amazing the Greatest.

Might sound familiar.

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career;
I've lost almost 300 games;
26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot...and MISSED.
I've failed over and over and over again in my life.
That is why...I succeed.

Watch it here:


Amazing ad

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Chennai tripping...

Had been to Madras last weekend (extended by the Ugadi holiday). Read an IEEE paper on the way to and fro (woe the life of a PG student).
Those 3 days were heavenly though...Kanna picked me up in his car. Met his amma and paati after a long long time. So much has happened since I last met them.
Early Saturday morning we went to Besant Nagar beach...and I realized again how much I love the sea.
My first view of the Bay of Bengal. Lots of coffee(the best I have ever much for coffee board). Quite a bit of food as Prasanna's family joined in the crusade to increase my weight.
A performance by Kanna's Sir ...heavenly.
2 by prasanna himself...excellent but marred by extrinsic events both.
Photos of the sea:
The first 2 I converted from color to grayscale for what I felt was "effect".


This Wednesday i got my laptop.
Dell Inspiron 640m.
Intel Centrino Duo processor 1.6GHz
DVD writer.
Win XP and Fedora Core 6 installed on it.

It rocks!!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Can you keep your emotions in check?...

You Have Your Emotions in Check

You are an incredibly stable and happy person.

Ever consider being a therapist?

You have figured out how to keep a positive outlook, no matter what.

You don't have an easier life than anyone else. You just have figured things out a little more.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Founder's Day at IISc

3rd of March was celebrated as Founder's Day being the 168th birthday of J.N.Tata.
The main building was decorated with an amazing flower decoration.
Here are some photos that I took in almost amateur fashion.
Had to run behind the butterflies and take pics at full those pics might not be very good quality but then..."Bhavnaaon ko samjho"

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Found this on Sinu's laptop.
A very nice thought...something I remind myself everyday.
The source of my pain and my focus at the same time.
A really interesting,motivating thought.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Carpe Diem...

On my visits to Mumbai I have noticed one thing...I am out to make the most of every moment I get to stay in the place I proudly call HOME (ME MUMBAIKAR!!).
Be it talking to my mom till 2 am the night I land there or 3 visits to Shivaji Park in 16 hrs literally.

This last time I thought...Hell!! I should be living my entire bloody life like this. Making every moment count, having fun all the times I can. It also reminded me of the dialogue that precedes one of my favourite tunes, the Gateway Theme in Bluffmaster.

Tumhe aise kitne din yaad hain Roy,
pehla suit...pehli salary,
jab tumne ek ladki ko pehli baar chhua,pehli baar chooma,
jab pehli baar tumhaara dil dhadka Roy!!


Monday, February 05, 2007

As INERT as Radon...

That's my gmail status right now.
About a tenth of the year is gone and apart from finding out about something called the Radon transform and adding more air-miles going to Bombay and coming back,I have achieved NOTHING.
(Also read: Radon)

Had an assignment about the properties of the Radon transforms and my mind went PHUT!!
Could not think anything...sat there blankly staring at the screen for about 10 min, that's when I thought of this status message.

What's wrong,I dunno...just lost it I guess.
Not just the mental sharpness but also atleast a bit of the Motivation I guess.
Just no enthu to work or figure these things out.
Thanks to Anoop, my labmate, without whom this assignment would not be completed.

Need to get out of this rut...get back on track.
No clue how to do that.
And I won't even react much.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

interesting thought...

Found this on a webpage about wavelet never know what you will find where.

At the beginning of my journey, I was naive. I didn't yet know that answers vanish as one continues to travel, that there is only further complexity, that there are still more interrelationships, and more questions.

Robert D. Kaplan, The Ends of the Earth: a journey to the frountiers of anarchy, Vintage Press, 1996

Sunday, January 07, 2007

When Genius Failed...

The latest book I have read is titled "When Genius Failed" by Roger Lowenstein.

It is about the meteoric rise and equally spectacular fall of LONG TERM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT. A hedge fund by nature,it had on board star traders from Wall Street and Merton and Scholes(Nobel Laureates) whose work forms the basis of all modern finance.

With such a stellar cast and the backing of all the major banks on Wall Street LTCM had all the right credentials to make it big. Their trades were cold,calculated bets based on MATHEMATICS. Their behaviour in the good times brings only one word, repeated many times in the book, to mind:

George Soros, in a lecture in IISc, said that ours is the age of fallibility.
Human beings tend to do irrational things. It is LTCM's inability to include this human factor in their trades that contributed greatly to their fall apart from their
(over)confidence in their "models".

All in all, a very good read though the Rs. 500/- price tag is a bit of a pinch on the pocket.

Looking forward to Hannibal Rising.


This is my favourite TV series while I still watched TV(along with the Star Treks). In the pilot episode itself math is used to track a serial murderer.

Somewhere the assumptions go wrong and it all blows up in their face (only to be sorted out later ...obviously).
Was watching this episode as I waited for the clock to tick down pending my departure from home on 31st December.
Liked this dialogue between the Mathematician Charles Eppes and the physicist Larry Fleihnardt that I wrote it down.
CE : Larry something went wrong and I don't know what. Now it looks like I can't even think.
LF: Let me tried to solve a problem involving human behaviour and it blew up in your face.
.(will not bore you with the rest of it)

LF : And Charlie, when you're dealing with human problems there's going to be pain and disappointment. You got to ask yourself IS IT WORTH IT?

Aired on November 12th,2005 on AXN in India.