My New Year’s Resolutions (for 2009)

It’s 31st December evening already—the time to make NYRs (New Year’s Resolutions)!!

When it comes to a “resolution”, I suppose I do have something else to say as well—by way of peer-reviewed published papers. For more information, search for the word “resolution” on this page. I am proud of those papers—regardless of whether foreign and Indian research/education establishments (e.g. COEP, or University of Pune, or IIT Bombay, or IISc Bangalore) have taken any cognizance of them or not. But regardless of their choices, personally, I can no longer think of the word “resolution” without thinking of those papers.

Those papers were very much a part of my PhD  thesis research, and they were written (and published) way back in 2005. Subsequently, I also gave my pre-submission seminar on 12 April 2007. And I have also submitted my final bound thesis on 12 Oct. 2007. And, still, till date, I do not have an iota of an idea as to when my final examination panel will at all be appointed (so that the thesis could be sent to them so that they could read it and decide whether they want to come to Pune to examine me in person or not)! Phew! Some people [gulps a lot of words]…

Anyway, coming back to my New Year’s Resolutions proper, here I go.

Department of Exercise: (1) Walk regularly (at least five times a week). (2) Perform “Soorya Namaskar” daily. The quantum isn’t important; the regularity of it is. So, say, about twelve namaskars per day might be OK, but the thing is to see that there are no more than four offs per month.

Department of Pranaayam and Yoga: Do the basic course of Sri^2 Ravishankar’s Art of Living, iff doing so is possible without giving up non-veg food. Many years ago, he was shown on TV asking people to direct their angst towards him. “Give me your anger, frustration,” he said, “so that you could release it.” Well, how about directing a little bit of fun towards you, Sri^2? I mean, what if someone really means it in a friendly way (i.e., without malice)? Or is it that your followers can’t let me learn your teachings if I approach them calling you “Sri^2”? 🙂

Department of Research: (i) Start and finish writing down at least two full-length papers, say, from the earlier TBD list, but do not publish them until the PhD examination is conducted. (Whether I am passed or failed in the examination is not a concern here—not mine anyway. But whether immediate steps are urgently taken to conduct my over-over-due PhD examination or not, sure, is!)

Department of Coding: Start and finish design and coding of three (preferably six) small VC++ projects. (Unnamed here; but small; each might involve just about 1K to 5K lines of code.) Three, if PDF documents also are to be written. Else, six projects.

Department of Thinking on Physics: (i) Complete reading about history of CoV. Also complete reading of Prof. Taylor et al’s papers concerning teaching action principles. Simultaneously, complete jotting down basic points in refuting their arguments as needed. (ii) Complete reading and understanding van Dommelen’s book (and equivalents) in QM—whether other students are available and interested or not.

Department of Learning: Break into nonlinearity—its general fundamentals, as well as its salient manifestations in engineering mechanics (fluids and solids). Finish at least five books, and get a sufficiently good idea of the field to the extent that a good overview lecture can be given to M Tech students by the year-end. … I have had enough of keeping nonlinearity on my the periphery of my mind. I knew I had to learn it some or the other day. The new year seems just right to begin understanding it.

Department of General Reading and Writing: Read general references for and jot down the points (or preferably, the full article) on: (i) What principle might be at work when homeopathy works? Cover also the ancillary question (which I do raise, whether practitioners of homeopathy raise it or not): What are the limits of homeopathy? When might we expect it not to work? How about its ill side-effects in the process of finding the right remedy?

Department of Music: (i) Get all my CDs on my PC. BTW, all of my music collection is un-stolen, and yet, I also don’t always necessarily seem to side with the stands that music companies seem to be taking. (Detailed discussion /clarification on this, later. (This is a “trailor”!!) Actually, there are some areas where my thoughts might come as unexpected to many people, esp. so if you support IPRs (the way I do) and regard music as a (commercial) property (the way I do). And still, I believe, it is possible, sometimes, in some minor contexts, to disagree with the specific positions that music corporates seem to take on this issue.) (ii) Create a database of my music collection. (iii) Compile a list of songs I like, as per the “raag”s on which they are based. (iv) Also, compile a list of songs that are beautiful but not based on any Indian classical “raag.”

Department of Philosophy: Write one article (and write down detailed outlines for the rest) on topics like the following: (i) Free-will, innate ideas, and reincarnation (anecdotal “evidence” and more carefully gathered data of certain researchers). (ii) Locate and read at least five good books on the Indian theory of Karma (including original writings from Jaina and Budhist traditions). Objectively clarify issues concerning ethics, including free-will.

Department of Society, Fellowship, Etc.: Begin addressing all holders of earned doctorates, not by the special title “Dr.” but by the more basic “Mr.” and “Ms./Mrs.” (or “Shri.” etc.), so as to help remind them that my own Ph.D. examination is over-over-due and still not yet conducted. Such usage includes, for example, Mr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Sukhdeo Thorat, Mr. Raghnunath Mashelkar, Mr. Narendra Jadhav, Mr. Pandit Vidyasagar, Mr. Vikhe, Mr. Prakash Wani, Mr. Anil Sahasrabuddhe, Mr. S. R. Kajale, Mr. G. V. Parishwad, … Similarly, Mr. Sia Nemat-Nasser, Mr. Zhigang Suo, Mr. Biswajit Banerjee, … [and, similarly, Ms. Jayathi Murthy, Ms. Michelle Oyen, …] … And so on and so forth… Thus, if you find me addressing a doctorate holding person by the title “Dr.” in the new year (or later), please consider it as my mistake, one arising out of habit, purely. This policy of mine will remain in effect until the time that my own PhD examination is in fact conducted. Note, whether I am passed or failed in the PhD examination is not at all relevant to the policy; my being asked to appear for the examination is. I will put an end to this new rule of mine on the day of my PhD examination. (And then only. Not even a day earlier.)

[Credits: The idea of calling some paragraph as “Department of XXXX” was shamelessly lifted from Mukul Sharma’s “MindSport” column—that weekly column which he ran for some 20+ years in “Times of India,” until recently. It is not, however, clear whether such usage of the word “Department” was of his own making or not.]


I plan to update this blog with the progress (or the regress, or the oversight, as the case may be) of all my NYRs. Which, incidentally, itself is yet another resolution! OK. I need to make it specific. Let me: I will update the status as to whether I have been able to keep up on my resolutions or not, once in every three months or so.


2 thoughts on “My New Year’s Resolutions (for 2009)

  1. (i) What principle might be at work when homeopathy works? Cover also the ancillary question (which I do raise, whether practitioners of homeopathy raise it or not): What are the limits of homeopathy? When might we expect it not to work? How about its ill side-effects in the process of finding the right remedy?

    at least some one take positive step towards finding the truth !! Happy New Year Ajit !!

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