Yes, as the title clearly tells you, my superposition state [^] has collapsed to |having a job (as a Professor)>. In fact, it did, right on July 1st, 2013.
I have joined the Yadavrao Tasgaonkar Institute of Engineering & Technology, Karjat, as a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
I wanted to blog about it much earlier, but a couple of things came in the way:
(I) I was too busy moving my stuff from Pune to Karjat.
My own stuff, that way, is sparse even by a graduate student’s standards, let alone that of a professor’s: 1 plastic chair, 3 plastic tables, 2 laptops, 1 printer, 1 suitcase, 1 shoulder-bag, and books, is pretty much describes it all. At least as of today. The difference is (and will remain): the books.
I carry the vice of buying books.
I call it a vice because I often (i) visit a bookshop, (ii) browse through a book, (iii) immediately notice a different viewpoint or a new kind of an application example or a different kind of a treatment, and (iv) immediately buy that book, (v) immediately browse it for a while, but (vi) never come to even plain finish reading the main textual matter of the book let alone go through even the solved examples. (I never bother myself with the chapter-end exercises.)
The last part surely makes it a vice, no? I mean, no
“ghassoing” solving problems or finishing books?
A book, to me, is not like a bottle of wine to be savoured over a week-end. A week-end is a negligibly small period of time, in fact, a vanishingly small one to me. A book is rather like a hypothetical (Marathi word) “loNche” [nearest English equivalent: pickle] to me. Unlike the real “loNche,” which pretty much gets finished or at least has to be replaced every year, a single book for me can easily take more than a decade to finish, and sometimes it can even never come to pass.
The size of a book has nothing to do with it. It has more to do with my enjoyment of it, at my own pace: taking a byte here, and stopping to think/wonder about it, and then, taking another byte there, and enjoying it.
… To indicate how strong this vice is, allow me to state: I still have to finish Feynman’s tiny book for the layman on QED. (I bought it in 1999. I went through the first chapter in 1999, and the second chapter in early naughties. I think I forced myself through the third chapter in the late naughties but without completing it. The matter rests on the “as is” basis there.) Any guesses if I have finished reading, at least once, his three volumes?
But all the above does not mean that I am not a book-worm. My “a dip now, and a dip then” approach also translates into “a dip here, and a dip there.” I am highly, say, amorous(?) when it comes to books. (My (actually) preferred way of thinking about it is that I am a parallel processor. (And I don’t say this because I am now a professor. It’s a fact that that’s the way I think about it.))) I may take in only a small portion from one book at a time, but I am almost always taking in way too many of them from different books, at the same time.
No, this is not a habit that the Internet or Google seduced me into. I was already into it. I guess I have perhaps never finished a book from the start to the end in one sitting, or even over one single week-end or within a single week. Not since when I was in school. Articles, essays? yes. Even long essays? yes. But books? nope.
Since I left the school, I have never read a book in a consecutive sequence of readings. Neither have I read any book in the same sequence as that of its printed pages. I just have to have an advance peek at some random page which comes later in the book, just to see what’s happening there, even if only for ten–twenty seconds, and then immediately return back to where I am. Or, to flip back to some random page earlier (or back to the Table of Contents) and check out where I am in relation to that. The second might be understandable to many, but the first may not be.
So, nope, I haven’t been much of a “customer” for those library members who take secret pleasure in scrawling spoilers on the first page of a detective novel. In fact, except for my early time when I was in high-school, for most of the later time, I myself haven’t hesitated looking at the last few pages of even a detective novel, just to get a clue of how this whole thing is going to end. … Yes, I knew Howard Roark was going to laugh in the end, and John Galt was going to trace the sign of the dollar in space, whatever that meant.
… But, anyway, I have never been much of a fictions man. Throughout my life (and the way I remember it, this was right since my 2nd standard) I have been mostly reading non-fiction. These days it’s almost exclusively all non-fiction. (The last time I tried to read a novel, even if without finishing it and in my usual haphazard manner, was in 2006, when I tried Chetan Bhagat’s “Five Points South.” I guess I never went beyond 20 pages in all, and these too distributed all over the novel.)
So, most my books are non-fiction. A majority of them are on engineering, a very significant minority on physics. I used to have more than 500 books, many of which I simply dumped by weight to the second-hand book sellers, in one of my past reorgs at home (esp. before going abroad). I still have hundreds of books.
Now that I was relocating, I thought of taking a good stock of what all books I have. I wanted to create a database of sorts, right before moving them. (I did. (It wouldn’t have happened after I had already moved them!))
So, moving books was a major task.
Another thing. I didn’t engage a tempo or a small truck for moving my stuff. It was plain that for some reason or the other related to relocation (including official things, rent agreement, etc.), I would have to travel to Karjat quite a few times. So, I decided to move all my stuff in my own (old) car.
(II) I think I have a fairly good idea of what kind of things to expect where in India, particularly, in Maharashtra.
I knew that one of the most significant problems I would face once in Karjat would be: a very severe reduction in the bandwidth of my Internet connectivity.
My ISP (Idea 3G) has proved me wrong. The bandwidth has not asymptotically approached zero; it has been zero for most of the time.
Well, at least it was so until the time that I repeated my threat to close down my account some three times within four days. May be because I am a “Preferred” or a “Platinum” or a “Golden” or whatever type of customer to my ISP [they sent me a personalized desk calender in January 2013, but since I didn’t have a job, it was simply lying catching dust thus far], they apparently took my threat somewhat seriously after the third time.
So, for the past few days, I have been getting about 0.1 to 0.5 Gbps instead of the 3 Gbps, and that too only in spurts, and that too, only for about 25% of the times that I try connecting to the Internet from my home, in the early mornings or late evenings. I have a 3G card, which is supposed to give you a seamless connectivity all over the country (including at places like Kedarnath, esp. if it would be used by a (Hindi word) “poti” i.e. grand-daughter). However, just 90 km away from Mumbai, but in a rural area, even if I sometimes do get some connection at home (and even if it’s only in infrequent spurts of 0.1 to 0.5 Gbps each), once I am in my Institute, which is located just a few kilometers away, no service is at all available. Yes, I tried stepping out of the cement-concrete buildings and hallways, and thus into an open space. No luck. The 3G card doesn’t even get “registered;” the card sending a request to allocate an IP address is simply out of the question. My college WIFI account is yet to be set up. So, I have been without the ‘net for most times.
For both these reasons—relocation and bad connectivity—I have not been able to blog as much.
* * *
Anyway, our UG term begins next Monday, and the PG term, some time later.
While the Time-Table for this term has not been finalized, by informal exchange at our college, the impression I get is that I would be expected to take one or two courses for the PG class (ME in Machine Design), most probably, these: (a very introductory sort of a course on) Advanced Stress Analysis, and either FEM or CFD (both of which are electives in University of Mumbai), and/or, an FEM Lab course (which is core/compulsory).
I am also expected to contribute on the side of the development of PG projects, as well as on research activities, at our Institute. Let’s see how things progress. I am excited though. (Actually, “excited” is not the word. “Eager” is more like it. But no professor is “eager,”ever; only students are! (Yes, I am enjoying my newfound prestige. (Hope they don’t overdo it and spoil me.)))
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A Song I Like:
[I don’t recollect the exact words. The given phrase appears in the “mukhDaa”. The song must have appeared in the ’70s—at least it has a very definite mid-’70s touch to it.]
(Hindi) “… bas do ghaDi, behel jaataa hai dil, deewaanaa; deewaanaa; deewaanaa…”
[The initial part of this “mukhDaa” goes somewhat like this: “mere dil(?) se to jaaaneman, mile rahane do tere nayan(?), bas do ghaDi…”]
Singers: Shailendra Singh (or was it Amit Kumar? Most probably, Shailendra Singh) and Asha Bhosale
Music: ??? (Bappi Lahiri? Ravindra Jain?)
I would appreciate it if someone could help me in locating this song.
[Have to rush to college; will come back and expand or edit later, probably after 3–4 days, certainly after the weekend—and depending on how the Idea 3G card works out.]
Update on July 16, 2013:
I could locate the song, purely by trying out various permutations of the words I have jotted above. [To once again fix in my mind something that has
eternally since std. XI confused me: in permutation, order matters; in combination, it doesn’t.] As far as this song goes, just simple permutations wouldn’t work—the song is some 39 years old (already!), not included in any of those “Hits of” and “Best of” albums, and little played on radio these days, too. So, Google, despite their otherwise wonderful PageRank and other algorithms, performs on this search rather poorly—there simply aren’t enough pages about this song for their algorithms to be intelligent enough. [In my youth—as a graduate student—I always fought for the idea that between the nodes and the connections, it’s the nodes that have the primacy. I then used to be worried about the circularity that would be so nearby. Little wonder, later on, I found it hard to get too impressed by the San Francisco Bay Area folks when I was there, or by the typical CS folks before, or any time after.] Anyway, here are the correct lyrics and the credits. [I decided to keep my above hints as they are, just as a record of how close I was—or was not—in jotting down the clues.]
(Hindi) “mere dil se yeh nain, mile rahane do jaaneman, ke do ghaDi, behel jaataa hai dil, deewaanaa”
Singers: Shailendra Singh and Asha Bhosale
Music: R. D. Burman
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
…And, yes, this song came from a 1974 movie. [“Zehreela Insaan,” if you are curious. [Never saw that one.] …Anyway, (now, go, locate and see if you, too) enjoy the song…