Smile 2020 :)

31 Dec 2020

A beautiful end to 2020 :)

What an excellent lecture! The mathematics of domino tiling is truly wonderful. Wow! I am glad I found this video :)

27 Dec 2020

Lovely batting Rahane and Jadeja :)

This was such an incredibly beautiful performance! Almost poetic!
Patience at its best. I didn't watch the entire innings, just Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja's partnership. While everyboody is talking about Rahane's century, I am mighty impressed by Jadeja's knock. A sense of calm under overcast conditions. I think I will watch some more cricket tomorrow :)

26 Dec 2020

Science I watched today :)

25 Dec 2020

Movies we have watched today :)

24 Dec 2020

Remember the global outage on 14th December?

Too dependent on Google?

Too dependent on Technology, in general?

Try taking one day in a week off from all kinds of technology! I am doing that for the last 3 weeks. It feels great :)

23 Dec 2020

UK strain of Covid19 :(

From what I understand, mutation occurs in viruses all the time. UK happens to do genomic sequencing more than anywhere else in the world (45% of all genomic sequencing of covid19 is performed in UK) so they were able to detect the new strain. Other countries can not or do not perform such studies at such large scales which is why they may miss out on detecting new strains in their own country. Thats it.
Having said that, we are obviously taking the necessary precautions in London. We are pretty safe :)

22 Dec 2020

Muscle tear and stiff neck :(

I am in pain for the last couple of days. But thankfully, my mother is caressing my forehead, shoulder and arms. We call it "smoothy" :)

A lot has happened this year. Time to rest and recover!

19 Dec 2020

Christmas gift :)

18 Dec 2020

Resuming writing dreams after 6 months :)

The last time I wrote down my dream was on 18th June 2020. I have had plenty of amazing dreams since then but somehow couldn't note it down. No worries! The approach is to recall the dream immediately after I wake up. There is a 30 second window after waking up to consciousness to recall the dream. If I don't recall in those 30 seconds then I forget the dream. It's fascinating and mysterious! Looking forward to writing down my dreams as much as I can :)

12 Dec 2020

How much time does it take to make my father cry tears of joy?

4years 2months 16days

= 36,899 hours

= 2,213,971 minutes

= 132,838,313 seconds :)

My parents are blissed out. I am, on the other hand, surprisingly calm as a cucumber! Strange :)

11 Dec 2020

London's boroughs :)

09 Dec 2020

'This too shall pass'... and it did :)

07 Dec 2020

Pumping up with 'Ready Steady Go' :)

01 Dec 2020

The final lap :)

19 Nov 2020

Chase the sun :)

I'm flying away

Running like the wind

As I chase the sun

Up spinning around

Circles in my mind

Sailing over ground

-Lyrics of the song

18 Nov 2020

End of quarantine :)

I was under 14 days of strict quarantine with my parents, and now our quarantine has ended. Free!

There are many things lined up for me. My to-do list has gotten longer. Time to gather focus!

Mission Impossible soundtrack running in my head in a loop :)

06 Nov 2020


05 Nov 2020

MaPa are now safe with me :)

03 Nov 2020

Booyakasha :)

Obsessed with Sacha Baron Cohen's character Ali G these day. Yet to watch Borat 2 but for now, I watch Ali G videos on Youtube all the time!

01 Nov 2020

Trump art-piece in London Soho! Hahaha :)

We were walking in London Soho when we came across a wall with a hole in it. My friend tells me to peek into the hole and I burst laughing. It was a sculpture of Donald Trump in a compromising position. Also, there have been more ways in which the world has expressed hate against Donald Trump like a wall with 20,000 of his lies in New York Soho. I feel he is losing the US election this time, but you never know for sure. Irrespective of the outcome, it will definitely be entertaining :)

29 Oct 2020

Sir Roger Penrose :)

I am happy to know that, while I was busy and occupied, my favourite scientist/mathematician/physicist won the Nobel Prize! A kind of fanboy moment for me :)

I think I was first introduced to Penrose when my father took me to the Strand Book shop in Mumbai in 2005 or 2006. He allowed me to buy as many books as I could within a certain amount. I could have bought several books with that amount but I chose to buy just one book 'The Road to Reality'. This massive book is still on our library shelf at home. Till this day I have never finished reading the entire book but it has shaped my thinking. At one stage I was seriously considering to become a Theoretical Physicist. I think, the coming December would be a good time to re-discover this book and finish reading it! Lets see if I can do that :)

28 Oct 2020

Withdrawal symptoms :(

I was consuming a lot of energy drink in the last couple of months to focus on work. I am guessing 500ml to 1ltr a day. Now that I have ended the work, I also stopped consuming energy drinks. I am beginning to experience my body reacting to this. Cramps, mouth ulcer, tiredness, difficulty to pay attention, difficulty to keep eyes open, zoning out every once in a while. All this is because of vitamin deficiency, I know. Energy drinks have a lot of vitamins, which my body got used to. Now its not getting the high doses of vitamins it is expecting and hence, all these symptoms. But I need not worry. I have been successful at breaking addictions several times in the past. All I need is patience, which is my forte :)

27 Oct 2020

Done with Energy drinks! Not going to have it ever again :)

26 Oct 2020


22 Oct 2020

And I'm leaving you all that I can

And I'm living to all of your plans

And I'm giving you all that I can

And I'm living to all of your plans

Devoted to the task at hand!

10 Sep 2020

"Your baby was probably just enjoying the ride until I spoiled it for him" :)

A speeding stroller down a slope with a baby in it hit me from behind and stopped. The mother and two more kids came running behind.

"Thank you thank you!"

Mother had teary eyes.

"It's alright. Relax. See your kid is fine. He was probably just enjoying the ride until I spoiled it!"

The small daughter hugged my waist. Super senti and super awkward :)

08 Sep 2020

Feeling sorry for India :(

For whatever reason, my country ended up facing the worst of both worlds (Economy and Coronavirus). Feeling so sorry!

04 Sep 2020

Writer's Block! Trying to Unblock :)

Patience Chigs Patience. I just wish smile could take care of me and help unblock :)

25 Aug 2020

I eat a lot!

I went to a nearby restaurant to exploit the 'eat out to help out' scheme. The attendant at the restaurant was surprised by the amount of food I ate. He commented and made me conscious about my appetite. I was embarrassed.

I pondered.

Its no secret, I eat too much. Everyone knows. From childhood friends to my current lab mates and flatmates and everyone in between. They have seen me eat and have expressed surprise. Especially recently, 'One meal a day' makes my appetite look even bigger. I don't think I have met anyone who eats more than me, even the ones much fatter or larger than me.

So I just thought - Fine! I accept I have a huge appetite. Is it a boon or a curse?

I don't have much time to expand but the short answer is: If I can increase physical activity back to my sporting days or even Edinburgh level then this huge appetite is a blessing. Else it is a curse. Patience Chiggs, someday you may get a chance to return to the same level of physical activity :)

24 Aug 2020

Scared. Trying to stay calm.

22 Aug 2020

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha :)

If I am ever sad, make me listen to this song!

17 Aug 2020

My bike is my everything :)

Its an incredibly intimate relationship. My bike and I. She is my everything! <3

14 Aug 2020

Drenched in rain :)

An excerpt from the song I was listening while getting wet:

Keep it together now,

Cause I know we're getting

Close to something, I know,

Can we let go

And feel it again

Wake me up tonight,

Till the sunlight

And feel it again

Feel it again

Feel it again

21 Jul 2020

This track made me cry in bliss :)

Just 35 seconds! Couldn't resist to post this. I call it "In the zone!". I resonate strongly with this tune :)

08 Jul 2020

Busy busy busy busy!!!!!!

Offline for the next 100 days at the very least

As far as I could see

There is nobody supporting me

There is no one waiting for me

I am alone wandering chaotically

But as deep as I could feel

You are all around me

You are holding my hand and guiding me

You are my smile, loving me :)


08 Jul 2020

Casually curious :)

This is my kind of content - Enjoyed their conversation.

07 Jul 2020

The debate on the Bhagawad Gita :)

I had this long heated debate with a person who seemed very irritated that I (seemingly scientific, logical and educated person) read the Bhagavad Gita.

This is what I told him:

The single most biggest mistake everyone makes, both believers and non-believers, is to read the Bhagawad Gita like prose and take things literally. Or like reading a legal document. But the damn thing has 'Gita' in its title, meaning poetry/song.

Now when you listen to some song like "Chaand taare tod lau, saari duniya par mein chau, bas itna sa khwaab hai" (Loosely translated as "I will go and conquer the moon and the stars, I will spread my reach over the entire world, that's it, that's the only tiny dream/aspiration I have"), then you know that the writer is not actually going to go to the moon and the stars. He doesn't even know how far the celestial bodies are. But you get the feeling/emotion behind the song and enjoy it. Now if I label the same song as a religious scripture, the believer will say "The God went all the way to the moon and the stars" and the non-believer will say "no one can go to the moon and the stars" and both will debate endlessly because they are reading the song like it is prose and taking things literally. It's a song! You extract the essense/emotion/feeling behind it and not take it literally. Kids learn the difference between Prose and Poetry in school. Why are you making this basic mistake?

Now coming to why I read the Bhagawad Gita.

(1) I appreciate the poetry. Do you know how difficult it is to write a poetry? If I ask you to write an essay, within 10minutes you will write 20 to 40 sentences. But if I ask you to write a poetry. Try it and see. The Mahabharat is the longest poem ever written in the history of mankind with Bhagawad Gita being a tiny part of the epic with just 700 verses! Hahaha... notice the poetic effect "JUST 700 verses!"... That's worth appreciating.

(2) For the feeling. The Bhagawad Gita brings very specific feelings within me like fearlessness, patience, calm, boldness to take tough decisions, accepting the reality. It is just like sport athletes listening to their favourite songs before a match to bring them in an emotional state of focus or determination or whatever helps them perform better.

So basically, I think almost everyone is pretty stupid to read these scriptures like prose. But that doesn't irritate me because the Gita also brings that emotional state of acceptance in me - to accept this world with all kinds of idiots in it including the biggest idiot of them all - me :)

29 Jun 2020

Maniacs are on the top :)

Missing watching sports? Watch the marble league. I am cheering for my team - Minty Maniacs. They have won two medals already but it could get really difficult to defend the first position. This is exciting! Love this sport. I am a big fan :)

26 Jun 2020

The Glorious Sun :)

5am Sun

9pm Sun

24 Jun 2020

30° C :(

I can imagine tomorrow's headlines - An Indian PhD student dies in yesterday's heatwave of 30° C in London. :)

I have no idea how I managed to survive the summers in Bhopal.

A joke on an Indian-deity Shiva: He lived in the Himalayas and didn't bother to come down the mountains to live with the the rest of civilization. A 'vairagi' - someone detached from the rest of the world. I understand why he did not leave Mount Kailash. He was like, "I don't care! You handle your own problems. I am not going to come down to 40° C. If you want my help then you come here to colder temperatures." :)

22 Jun 2020

Khichdi :)

Now this is the kind of videos I should make on everything. From math to cycling. This will be fun :)

His commentary is fantastic!

19 Jun 2020

Chess addiction :(

I thought I will play one game. But then I played one more. And then one more. And then one more ... I ended up playing 59 Blitz 10min games (5min each player). This is a clear sign of addiction. I will stop. I have stopped. No more chess until next year. That's a promise :)

18 Jun 2020

Scientists and Beards :)

There seems to be a strong correlation, I feel! Somebody should verify :)

15 Jun 2020

Complement each other. Do not compete :)

The suicide news of Sushant Singh Rajput triggered a sequence of conversations with my IISER friends and we bonded like never before. MAC is such a strong formidable friendship. We realised why this friendship and love lasted so long - we complemented each other and not competed. Hence, we were never threatened by the other and actually supported each other and enjoyed each other's company far more than anything else. Every other friend who tried competing with us in one way or another ended up being simple acquaintance. Nothing wrong about it and neither am I complaining. Its just that we realised the secret for lasting relationships, friendships and love is - complement, don't compete.

They say we have physical body, mental body and emotional body - Body Mind Heart.

In MAC, M is the heart. A is the body. C is the mind. Three together is the best thing ever!

Also noticing why most bollywood movies on friendship have three - Dil Chahta Hai, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Kai Po Che, etc.

14 Jun 2020

What is this new look?

This is called 'I don't care how I' look :)

Following the footsteps of many scientists of the 19th and 20th centuries, I have grown an awkward looking beard by not doing anything about the beard or caring anything about the beard at all.

13 Jun 2020

Danced in the rain today :)

I danced, I got drenched and I smiled :)

06 Jun 2020

PUBG Mobile :|

I see why this game is addictive! I will keep my distance from it though :)

Speaking of online gaming, I knew the gaming industry was massive and larger that what meets the eye. Then I watched this 2014 documentary on professional online gaming competition and now I know for sure. Note, this documentary was 2014, 6 years ago. By now, gaming industry must have exploded.

India, not known for computer gaming, adopted the mobile gaming version with the recent explosion of cheap internet and cheap smartphones in India. It has not just adopted PUBG but also embraced it with PUBG tournaments being streamed on Youtube which got me curious in the first place.

04 Jun 2020

My favourite website :)

I am in love with!

The wind, the rain, the waves, the snow

I see them flow!

I can see them flow!

-Chiraag Lala

So happy :)

03 Jun 2020

My beard has fan-following :)

02 Jun 2020

Its a dance and not a competition :)

Recent ill-health gave me an opportunity to ponder:-

Health vs ill-health. Good vs Bad. Success vs Failure. Happiness vs Sadness. Life vs Death. War vs Peace. Order vs Chaos. Positive vs Negative. Me vs Rest of the World. Etcetera.

Just reminding myself: Whatever may seem like a competition at the surface-level, I should try to spot and appreciate the deeper underlying dance :)

31 May 2020

Blisters on my feet and intense pain in diaphragm :(

The pain is quite bad. Almost unbearable. Cried a little. Don't know what caused it? An entire day wasted to manage the pain but it is fine. I am training my endurance :)

30 May 2020

"MIGHT" :)

Its all about the preparation.

The hard work.

Doing the same thing over and over and over again.

Making your body ready, your mind, your soul.

Hours, months, years of work. Never stop.

Making the most of every single thing.

And then, you 'MIGHT' get lucky" :)

Oh Wowww!

26 May 2020

"If you love her then you let her go" :)

Another new personal favourite song!

The lyrics gave me goosebumps :)

There is not much to the lyrics, just two lines

"You take my breath away" and "If you love her then you let her go" :)

24 May 2020

Tenet is about time travel :)

I am excited!

22 May 2020

Sharing birthdates :)

Here is an interesting and simple combinatorial problem. Given a group of n people, what is the probability (p) of at least two people in the group sharing birthdates?

If n=1 then p=0. If n=2 then p=1-(364/365).

If n=3 then p=1-((364/365)(363/365))

In general, the formula is 1 - ( (365!) / ( (365^n) ((365-n)!) ) )

So if your group has 23 people (n=23) then the probability is 50.73%

If your group has 57 people or more then the probability is more than 99%. It becomes 100% when there are 366 people or more, obviously :)

18 May 2020

In and out of phase :)

16 May 2020

Tinnitus :(

15 May 2020 :)

Interesting concept. Let's see how it unfolds.

14 May 2020

GO. Another closed system conquered :)

11 May 2020

Closed system vs Open-ended system :)

In this interview, Garry Kasparov makes an excellent point about Man vs Machine. Comparing the two in closed system and open-ended system. Machine dominates closed systems like board games which have fixed rules. Humans dominate open-ended systems like language, poetry, arts with no fixed rules. I think it is important to keep this backdrop in mind when comparing or analysing the next breakthroughs in AI :)

10 May 2020

Bye bye chess, for now :)

I feel chess is somehow counterproductive right now. I started playing during breaks from my work thinking it will be refreshing. But what really is happening is that it is tiring me further. I am getting more tired and mentally exhausted instead of recovering. Another problem is that once I start playing, I just can't stop. "No one can 'play' just once" - adopting from the Lays slogan :)

So yes, in a very short time I got obsessed and now I have decided to stop this addiction. Chess can wait until 2021 :)

09 May 2020

Thin line between genius and insanity

Continuing with the newly acquired chess obsession, I watched the documentary on bobby fischer. Wow!

08 May 2020

Eyes hurt again :(

Need to spend some time offline. Can't spend more time on a computer screen or smartphone screen. Need to be careful. Eyes are precious. Can't be so careless with my eyes!

07 May 2020

Chess is addictive! Magnus is a genius :)

06 May 2020

Am I autonomous? :)

It surely feels that way! But maybe I am not.

In one of the recent Lex Fridman's Artificial Intelligence podcasts, there was a discussion whether viruses are alive. Dmitry Korkin said "No. Viruses are intelligent machines dependent on host cell. They are not autonomous. So they are not living."

Really! I thought viruses were alive. And if viruses are not autonomous, are we humans or animals autonomous? When I go fill my glass with water to drink it - is it my choice to do so or am I reacting to the thirst (lack of water in my system)? How is that act of drinking water to quench my thirst autonomous? I am dependent on water and so many other resources in nature.

My understanding of living and non-living has been challenged. I am beginning to realise that, perhaps, living and non-living is not discrete like black and white. It is a continuous spectrum with all kinds of colours in between. Everything, including us, are somewhere in between. A virus maybe tending towards non-living end of the spectrum and trees somewhere in between and humans tending more towards living end of the spectrum. A few things to ponder about are - what are the ends of the living/non-living spectrum and how far am I from these ends? In other words, to what extent am I autonomous and to what extent am I a machine?

05 May 2020

Little scared today :(

I am a little scared today

Somehow fear found its way

Into my fortified impenetrable mind

Now I am on my toes, I need to find

Where is fear hiding within me?

How is it that I cannot see?

I think I need to first calm down

Let the obscuring thoughts settle down

And once the blur goes away

I will find the fear and throw it away :)

-Chiraag Lala

04 May 2020

India's migrant crisis and liquor crisis

So the news is my Mumbai residence has one coronavirus positive case in the building. The municipal corporation have sealed the building. My parents are fine. We were expecting this to happen sooner or later so we are not surprised. The more interesting story, however, is that of a migrant worker from Uttar Pradesh who worked in my building, who is a good friend of mine. As the news spread of the positive coronavirus case in my building, he decided to flee with his wife and two kids on a motorbike back to his village about 1600km away. Mumbai - Nashik - Dhule - Indore - Bhopal - Sagar - Katni - Rewa - Bhadohi. What an adventure!

Here's the dilemma

(1) "There is a positive case in the building so I need to protect my family. I will take them back to my village far from coronavirus. Also, there is no work or any source of income here in Mumbai."

(2) "If, for any reason, my family has contracted the virus then they may transmit it further to my village folk."

Quite frankly, I don't think the migrant workers will think in terms of transmitting it further.

In another news, my brother is happy :) He likes to drink alcohol so he had stockpiled liquor in anticipation of long lockdowns. Now many of his friends have run out of liquor and are struggling because liquor is not being sold. One of his neighbours, an ex-airforce fighter pilot, got to know my brother has stockpiled alcohol. Now he visits my brother regularly for drinks and they bonded well over whiskey. Liquor is also a crisis of sorts in India.

Thankfully, I am free from addictions except Nando's. But that's okay. I have stockpiled piri piri sauces (not that I need to do so in UK) :)

03 May 2020

I burn. But the flame is blue, not yellow :)

Yes, I have been burning intensely for quite some time now. The fire within! Its just that the flame is not the yellow kind. It is blue :)

02 May 2020

To have kids or not :)

My friend does not want kids because he thinks he cannot take the responsibility of raising a child. His girlfriend wants kids and feels betrayed by him. There is a bit of distress in their relationship right now. This led to more discussions within my group of friends. Turns out others in the group don't want kids either. One feels she is not financially or career-wise stable to have kids. Another does not like kids at all.

My reasons for not having kids are as follows:

  • Earth is overcrowded. "We are ensuring our children cannot live well on this planet by producing more children!" It is not made for 7billion cars or 7billion plastic bags getting dumped into the ocean each day. I have some sense of closeness with the planet and I have realised, unfortunately, like coronavirus is a virus to a human being, human beings are virus to the planet. I feel satisfied knowing that I am avoiding more harm to the planet.

  • I get the parent-like satisfaction I need from my nieces and the plants I have sowed and my bicycle. I am thoroughly satisfied.

  • My life is already quite adventurous and entertaining. It will be more so in the future. The responsibility of raising children, the way I see it, will reduce it. And if there is something I really want to do with a child, like cycling together in Switzerland or Japan, then I have my nieces :)

01 May 2020

My new favourite song :)

30 Apr 2020

My salad :)

A layer of leaves (baby red leaves + spinach + red chard). Then a layer of cherry tomatoes. Then a layer of cheddar cheese. Then a layer of sweetcorn. Then olive oil dressing. Thats it!

This has been my meal every alternate day for the last couple of weeks. You should try it :)

I am trying to eat raw uncooked food as much as possible. This is my best salad recipe so far :)

29 Apr 2020

One step forward, two steps back :(

It happens sometimes. There is some progress and then bigger setbacks. I need not be disheartened though. Just stay calm and patient :)

28 Apr 2020

Dwight Schrute :)

Started watching the US version of 'The Office' TV series. At first I thought it is not that good. But now, few episodes in, and I am a fan. It is a stupid TV series but it makes me laugh so I guess I will be watching it more often.

Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute are amazing characters. I think I have a friend who behaves like Dwight :)

27 Apr 2020

A seemingly easy but really hard geometry problem :)

I must have spent more than 2 hours trying to solve this problem. I failed. It was such a pain! On the other hand, my mother found the answer rather quickly without using conventional mathematical deduction. She took the experimental approach. She actually used a scale and a protractor to draw the figure and then check the angle x. Hahahahahahaha! I am impressed by my mother's wisdom :)

Note: there is a mathematical deduction too which can be found on Youtube.

26 Apr 2020

Fun with Vishwanathan Anand :)

25 Apr 2020

Stranded planes at Heathrow :)

24 Apr 2020

Clapping for NHS :)

23 Apr 2020

"Ghoda behen ka l@#d@" :)

-Samay Raina

Comedians playing chess with Agadmator and Grand Master Vidit Gujarathi! A bit childish, a bit abusive and so much fun discussing chess strategies. Had a great time watching these videos :)

22 Apr 2020

50th Earth day :)

I donated to the

21 Apr 2020

Smiling again :)

The Gods must be kind today

They offered me a smile and I took it without delay

"Thou shall not disturb, tamper or play

Thou shall allow it to have its own way"

I agreed to everything they had to say

Now I am smiling again. Why? They must have heard me pray :)

-Chiraag Lala

20 Apr 2020

The uncertain future :)

Big tech companies are halting or slowing down hiring. Google too. Not surprised, because I was expecting this to happen. My chances have dropped too and that's fine because the future is always uncertain :)

19 Apr 2020

Thanks Trump :)

Well! I wasn't expecting to receive the coronavirus relief. The US coronavirus bailout. $1200 to every individual. I got it too and I will take it. So thanks :)

18 Apr 2020

Cycling again :)

17 Apr 2020

Joey TV series :)

I watched more of Joey. The FRIENDS spin-off - Joey TV series. It seems pretty cool :)

16 Apr 2020

Chandler & Joey :)

Some of my friendships have been like Chandler and Joey from FRIENDS. Today's comedy with one of my dearest friends was no different :)

15 Apr 2020

"The Physics world was really crazy and the Math world was considerably less crazy. Just very strict and kind of dogmatic." :)

-Eric Weinstein

14 Apr 2020

Mark Twain's interesting perspective :)

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

-Mark Twain

13 Apr 2020

Fierce Grace :)

I picked up this phrase from a documentary - Ram Dass, Fierce Grace. I like the phrase. There is a masculine fierceness in the feminine grace :)

Now, I am not a follower or a believer of Ram Dass but I found his story really interesting. A Harvard Professor of Psychology (must be really good) gets addicted to Psychedelic drugs while doing research on 'consciousness'. He gets fired and then in his pursuit finds the same experience without the drugs as a devotee of a Spiritual Guru. There is more to the story and I do recommend watching it sceptically.

One important take away message, for me, was the whole discussion on 'aging'. Before I even realise, I will be old and quite dysfunctional. Can I handle it gracefully? I have already started working on it :)

09 Apr 2020

Colours of Spring :)

Its getting colourful here. The nature here is 'spring-ing' to life. I am too. To facilitate it better, I am on a three-day short Vipassana - meditating offline for three days. This is to blossom and become more colourful for the coming months like the trees in my neighbourhood :)

08 Apr 2020

Chasing Magpies :)

07 Apr 2020

I am Bombay :)

Imagine thrice the population of London in one third of London's area. That's Bombay. It is super crowded. Densely populated. As a result extremely polluted. Which is why I hated it. But now, with the lockdown, the crowd and the pollution is gone.

Bombay minus the crowd and the pollution is beautiful. This is my hometown. This is my village. I am Bombay. It brings tears in my eyes and a smile on my face :)

06 Apr 2020

Quinine. I have seen this before.

Quinine is in the news for being a potential drug against COVID19. It was a drug used to fight Malaria. Now it is being tested for Corona. But remember, it is not yet proven.

"Wait a minute. I have heard Quinine before. Where?"

Indian Tonic water... One of my favourite drinks.

05 Apr 2020

Diya Jalao :)

Inspired by India's lamp lighting today, remembering K. L. Saigal :)

04 Apr 2020

One Minute and Forty Seconds :)

This is my new retreat. A dirt bike track. Quiet and secluded. Ideal for training on my own in isolation.

I have begun timing myself. How long does it take to run a lap? Took me 1min 40sec.

Can I bring it down to less than a minute? Only time will tell :)

03 Apr 2020

Motivated by my past glory :)

Thanks Ma for retrieving this picture :)

Yes, I was an athlete in school. I was athletic later too for quite some time. I was so active physically that my appetite was twice that of a normal person. Somehow, later my physical activity reduced but the appetite stayed the same and I ended up unfit :(

No worries. It is never too late once you start. It should be easy for me. Its not like I am starting from scratch. I have been fit before, several times for prolonged periods. I know the drills. All I need to do is repeatedly trigger my muscle memory gently. It remembers the strength and fitness it had. Just like any other skill, like coding, all you need to do is recall and it will come back.

If Chiraag of the 2000s and 2013/14s could do it then so can I.

02 Apr 2020

Running again :)

This time regularly

01 Apr 2020

What if the WHO says "April Fool!" :)

Just imagine, World Health Organisation tells you, "Well! No one is really dying. This was all a massive global prank and all the news and cases were made up to fool you." How would you react?

Some may laugh, some may cry, many will be angry, but I will smile and silently ponder.

'Sab Moh-Maya Hai', everything is a majestic illusion... I am being fooled every single day and not just today :)

31 Mar 2020

Tintin :)

30 Mar 2020

Worst of both worlds!

Oh Oooooh! I did not know this. I thought India was doing just fine compared to other countries (as evident in the numbers) but it seems we might be getting into a situation which is far worse than what numbers tell.

Very simply, governments around the world had two bad options to choose from: Many Deaths or Bad Recession. Most chose bad recession (I would have too). India chose that too but it seems it will backfire and we may just end up with the worst of both the bad options. I feel for the migrant workers. I understand their nasty dilemma! I feel so sorry today :(

29 Mar 2020

Recalling My Cosmic Identity :)

I binge watched all the 13 episodes of the series 'Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey'. It is a beautiful storytelling by Seth MacFarlane, Neil deGrasse Tyson and their team which is easy to follow. It helped me recall and rediscover a cosmic perspective of my own finite existence. It was a humbling, enlightening and a spiritual experience :)

Just one thing about this series - It didn't touch the topic of 'Consciousness' and 'Intelligence'. Perhaps, the Math and the Science is not ready yet.

Something I would like to add: Like the different levels of existence from quantum to atomic to molecular to genomic to cellular to our level to the level of planets and the solar system and the galaxies and the observable universe, perhaps, 'consciousness' has different levels and scales too across spacetime. We use the terms 'your individual consciousness' and 'collective human consciousness', don't we? This might just be referring to our neighbouring levels of consciousness. Will wait patiently with a smile for the different levels of consciousness, if these exist (and I think they do), to unravel whenever they do if they do :)

Now that I feel motivated, empowered and energised, I think I will get back to my PhD. I am as much a wanderer, a voyager, an explorer as so many that have come before me. Now, I might as well try becoming one as much as I can be. A cosmic wanderer, a cosmic voyager, a cosmic explorer is, after all, my cosmic identity. Yours too if you look carefully :)

28 Mar 2020

Woke up crying

Saw a dream that made me cry. It was all emotionally overwhelming. Took me 5 minutes to calm down after waking up.

27 Mar 2020

Coronavirus in Asterix :)

Enjoyed reading 'Asterix and the Chariot race'. It is a fantastic comic book! There is a Roman character in the comic named 'Coronavirus' (Go to page 14). Little did Goscinny and Uderzo knew at the time of writing this story (published in 2017) that their naming of the character will gain such a wide attention :)

25 Mar 2020

Flattening the curve :)

Here is a simple model.

24 Mar 2020

Nando's is closed :(


This is how I cried when Nando's decided to close delivery too (not really but yeah). I don't care much about other restaurants, but Nando's!

Poor girl, you are not alone :)

23 Mar 2020

BoJo puts UK under lockdown. Finally!

Maybe it is part of the 'herd immunity' plan. Maybe they have timed it really well. Or maybe, just maybe it is this... :)

22 Mar 2020

Did you notice the internet is slower today :)

Yes, the internet all over the world is slightly slower. Youtube videos are taking a few milliseconds longer to load. Video streaming websites have reduced their video streaming quality to handle the sudden surge in streaming requests.

This is what happens when India is at home :)

But yes, I am impressed by the nationwide 'janta curfew' in India. It is just a drill but it is important. There will be curfews which go on for weeks later on. Clapping, blowing conches, ringing bells and utensils was a smart morale boosting move. I drew a parallel with the Mahabharat wherein before the battle, all leading characters and soldiers blew conches, kettledrums, trumpets, horns, etc. This roar, I am sure, was no different from that roar and it is needed. Because once the battle is over, then many may not get a chance to celebrate again.

Continuing with the Mahabharat analogy... now that people have enjoyed the curfew and clapped and blew conches... what comes next? The lamenting!

21 Mar 2020

My London :)

20 Mar 2020

Dear FutureMe :)

I hope you are alive and find this letter in a happy state of mind. I hope you are healthier, wealthier and wiser than I am. I hope you are more joyful than me :)

I received a letter from PastMe and it made me Smile :)

The letter also asked me to describe to you how has it been for me, so here it is: It has been Dramatic! Funny! Entertaining! I rarely feel like watching a movie or a TV series or reading a book because my own experience of life has been so much more entertaining. The world around me has been so much more dramatic. The world in me has been so much more fun!

I have become healthier, wealthier and wiser than PastMe.

Health - One meal a day and hourly posture correction are doing wonders to my health. If only I can add frequent exercise to this regime and a much more raw diet then, I think, I have a good shot at achieving 100+ years of healthy life. I have found a doctor to help me achieve this. Let's see if the doctor is mentally strong enough to stick around.

Wealth - Google helped me overcome my financial struggle to a great extent. But it doesn't stop here. I am still in debt and with Covid19 driven recession setting in, it could get messy. I continue to remain minimal and focus on completing my PhD. Now is not the time to think money. Hopefully, you will be in a better position financially.

Wisdom - I have managed to develop a deeper sense of ease and calm. Much more capable to manage tough situations.

Also, people seem to like spending time with me and open up to me sharing their deepest secrets because they feel comfortable with me. Not just friends and family but also complete strangers talk to me in a bus or on a flight or in a restaurant like they have known me for years. While my social interactions have improved, I remain at my best in solitude.

Many have sacrificed for me and I have not forgotten them. They are in my thoughts and I hope they remain in yours too.

Do write a letter to your future self and let him know how has life treated you and what are you feeling about it. Good luck!


Chiraag of 20 March 2020

19 Mar 2020

A letter from PastMe :)

This is a letter I received in my inbox today...

Dear FutureMe,

I hope you are healthier, wealthier and wiser than I am. I really hope you will literally ROFL (Roll On Floor with Laughter) when you read this :)

As stupid and childish as I may sound, know that this time hasn't been easy. I am on an epic losing streak! Worst of all, I lost my Smile. No one is to be blamed but me. I am embarrassed to admit - I succumbed to pressure. This was not the Chiraag of the past and I hope this is not you either.

Thankfully I rediscovered a clone of my Smile hiding deep within me. Now I carry her with me all the time. In wakefulness and sleep. Check my veins - it is half red blood cells and half Smile. Makes me strong, invincible, limitless! Empowered to face any storm. Creative and passionate about life like never before. Friendly and loving to all. I sing more, dance more, and try to make everything I touch beautiful - even the pain and the struggle. You will probably know better :)

Would love to hear from you how it has been for you and how it will be for me (same thing) since I wrote this letter. However, laws of physics don't permit. Perhaps, you can send a letter to your future self describing it.


Chiraag of 14 March 2019


Time to introspect and write a new letter to FutureMe. Maybe tomorrow.

18 Mar 2020

ZuriCh :)

How do you feel after witnessing a year full of drama?

12 Mar 2020

Hakuna Matata :)

No worries :)

11 Mar 2020

Coronavirus Conference Gets Canceled Because of Coronavirus :)

This is hilarious!

Soon with the global recession setting in, I think we will also see many commit suicide. It would be interesting to compare, if we could, those deaths vs actual coronavirus deaths eventually. Anyway...

Stay coronavirus safe. Stay recession safe. Be minimalist. Be calm and smile like this sloth :)

10 Mar 2020

Ambulances all around. Work from home, the new norm.

On my way to the university and back, I saw 8 to 10 ambulances whizzing their way around. Don't know if it is Covid 19, but it is surely getting serious! Many big companies and universities have begun asking staff to work from home. If it stays like this long enough, then I think people will start realising that work from home is not a bad option, especially for online jobs. It may just become the new norm. Expecting commercial property rates to start falling later on this year or next year. I may even ask the company I will eventually work with to give me compensation for voluntarily giving up my office desk. Lets see. Future is always uncertain!

09 Mar 2020

Non-sense :)

Many things that made sense in the past is non-sense today. Extrapolate this into the future.... Many things that make sense today will be non-sense tomorrow. How dynamic!

Similarly, many things that make sense to A may be non-sense to B and vice-versa for any two individuals.

Alright. Great! So it is safe to assume 'many many many things that makes sense' now or whenever are, essentially, well disguised non-sense :)

Am I making sense? Hahahahaha :)

Well! You have your own non-sense. I have my own non-sense. If we can be comfortable with each others non-sense then maybe non-sense plus non-sense equals to a better and a more entertaining non-sense :)

Feels amazing to have come to a level of ease with every non-sense out there, including my own :)

08 Mar 2020


A beautiful rainbow today and I couldn't help but Smile :)

Its a good feeling, isn't it!

06 Mar 2020

Flu in the time of Covid19

I have recovered :)

I guess I will never know what flu it was. Now that I have recovered I hope it was Covid19 because then I should be immune to it :)

29 Feb 2020

Injured foot and flu :(

Fell off the stairs and injured my toes in the fall. Had not fully recovered from that and now I have flu-like symptoms too. Mainly difficulty in breathing. Funny to have such symptoms in the times of Covid'19. A sneeze or a cough in public, like in busses, draws a lot of attention!

Anyway, distancing myself from people as much as possible and following the protocols set out by NHS.

28 Feb 2020

Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape is so much fun :)

And why does he always come second in local cooking competitions!

Today I feel like a stereotypical aunty in her 40s or 50s who is fond of watching cooking shows. Feel like I should ramp up my culinary skills :)

27 Feb 2020

India into the semi-finals :)

That was close. Winning by just 3 runs against New Zealand. Well played India. Happy to know we are in the semi-finals already :)

26 Feb 2020

Cummings and goings :)

Dominic Cummings is the Brexit mastermind and now the chief adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Cummings is quite a controversial figure and was mentioned today once again by the resigning chancellor of the exchequer Sajid Javid in his resignation speech.

25 Feb 2020

N207 :)

The night bus which saves me an hour each day. Commute from my home to Imperial College London takes 2 hours during the day but after midnight until 6am, the same commute takes just one hour. Thanks to N207. You are a saviour :)

24 Feb 2020

Shafali Verma - a prodigy :)

Wow!!! I am excited!

In 2017, England hosted the Women's 50 overs cricket world cup. I had attended the matches in Derby. It was a fantastic experience.

Back then, Smriti Mandhana was a revelation in Indian women's cricket. I had enjoyed watching India make it to the finals. Now Australia is hosting the women's T20 world cup and there is a new girl who is a delight to watch - Shafali Verma. Explosive batting! And she is just 16! Wow!

Shafali + Smriti + Harmanpreet + Veda + Jemimah + Deepti + spinners... I think, we finally have a team worthy of winning the World Cup. I think India is winning this one. Going to take time off and watch as many matches as I can afford :)

23 Feb 2020

The Imitation Game :)

Watched this movie on Alan Turing, finally! As a student of Math, AI and CS, I knew his story long ago.

The movie reminded me of an assignment to decrypt encrypted messages as a student in Edinburgh. I had built a Zipf's law frequency based decoder for that assignment in the dark on 5th or 6th floor in the Appleton Tower along with my BFF who might remember the lights of Edinburgh city twinkling in the background. This memory brings me a smile :)

22 Feb 2020

Hourly posture correction :)

Every hour, I stretch a bit and correct my posture. This is, perhaps, the best habit I have developed since One Meal A Day. I hope this habit lasts long. Highly recommend this to everyone. A massive leap towards longevity I feel :)

21 Feb 2020

Happy to see you smile :)

20 Feb 2020

It seems I am a better teacher than I think I am :)

Perhaps it is not a bad idea to start teaching, say 'Mathematics of AI/ML/DL/NLP'. Perhaps it is not a bad idea to create tutorials and even write a book. But yes. First, lets finish PhD :)

19 Feb 2020

Sheffield United :)

I lived 500meters away from this football club for about 18 months. And now this...

18 Feb 2020

What the 'tik tok'? :)

I am surprised!

I am surprised by Tik tok's rising popularity. Its an app that allows users to post short videos shot on their mobile phone camera. I had no idea something like this existed until I read the news it is becoming the most addictive app. So I decided to explore it. I am truly amazed and amused by the content on display! Most of it is stupid but hilarious :)

What an incredible platform to express! The creativity and the b****di at its best! It makes me wonder.... what comes next? :)

17 Feb 2020

Amusing storm names of 2019/20 :)

They name storms in alphabetical order. I did not know that. Having seen Ciara and Dennis in the past few days, lets see who else is going to visit us :)

Already visited us: Atiyah, Brendan, Ciara, Dennis

Yet to come: Ellen, Francis, Gerda, Hugh, Iris, Jan, Kitty, Liam, Maura, Noah, Olivia, Piet, Roisin, Samir, Tara, Vince and Willow

Inspired by this practice, I am tempted to name the different storms I will encounter in my life (like accidents, illness, etcetera) with such names too. It will allow me to deal with it creatively, I feel :)

16 Feb 2020

Trick shots inspired by Dude Perfect :)

Dude Perfect is a Youtube channel where five dudes performs trick shots of all kinds. They have 49 Million followers! For what? Just trick shots!

That would have been my ideal career choice. Performing trick shots all the time. I am fond of spinning football on my fingers, football juggling, normal juggling, juggling while cycling handsfree, etcetera. Inspired by Dude Perfect videos, I spent the rest of my day playing with football, juggling balls, rubik's cube, water-bottle flipping, spoon and fork flipping, etcetera. What a waste of time, but I loved it anyway :)

15 Feb 2020

Provoked :)

This is one of the most thought provoking movies I have ever watched. Makes me question and ponder about 'Time' once again.

What if you never aged?

What if there was no death?

Would you be in any hurry of any kind whatsoever?

Would you do what you are doing right now?

I am reminded of the phrase I use again and again - We are the times in which we live. We are the situations in which we live. Love being provoked every once in a while like this :)

14 Feb 2020

Above and Beyond Group Therapy after a long time :)

Besides the amazing deep melodic trance music, another wonderful thing about ABGT compilations are the titles of the tracks. These artists come up with some amazingly simple and profound names to their songs...

This one (ABGT 366) has titles like 'Antarctica', 'Black Hole', 'Solar Plexus', 'Burn', 'Stream of Consciousness', 'Free yourself', 'Chains', etcetera. What titles!

Loved this compilation. Especially the track 'Solar Plexus'. This compilation is as good as my all time favourite ABGT 008 :)

09 Feb 2020

A tiring week :)

I think I am exhausted. Reviewing papers, creating tutorials. Sleeping all weekend.

04 Feb 2020

Eternal wait :)

I came across a song which I am reading in a slightly different context. Let me set the context here: Imagine you are a mathematician, or any other profession for that matter, and you have had many 'moments of genius' in the past. However, now those moments don't seem to come your way. What to do?

Wait. Sincerely work towards what you want and WAIT!

This waiting may seem eternal and maybe it is. What you want may or may not come to you. But this quality of waiting is spiritual and sublime. I subscribe to it and try to carry a smile as I wait. In that spirit, I am reading/listening to the following song :)

Till the sky falls down

It's been so long since I have touched you

I can't remember how it feels

To have your loving arms around me

This is the pain I've never healed

All my life I have been searching

For someone honest just like you

You left me here without a reason

Every tear belongs to you

I'll be waiting

'Till the sky falls down

'Till you're coming around, baby

I'll be waiting

'Till the sky falls down

Let the rain clouds come

I'll be waiting

'Till the sky falls down

'Till you're coming around

All I need is one good answer

To understand why you are gone

Everything reminds me of you

Without you I can't go on

'Ll be waiting

'Till the sky falls down

'Till you're coming around, baby

I'll be waiting

'Till the sky falls down

Let the rain clouds come

-Kalberg Eelke A / Molijn Sebastiaan

02 Feb 2020

02022020 :)

Today's date is one interesting palindrome :)

2nd February 2020 = 02/02/2020 = 02022020

Same when you read it from left to right or right to left.

Humans have a great eye to spot patterns - sometimes as stupid as a palindrome date. I wish I can use this eye for detecting patterns for something better and more useful/worthwhile :)

01 Feb 2020


Now I am no longer in the European Union. Don't know what to feel.

30 Jan 2020

Ruk ja samay(time)

Abhi abhi toh chalna seekha hun

Tu kyu bhaagna chahta hai

Ruk ja

Abhi abhi toh girke utha hun

Tu phir girana chahta hai

Ruk ja

Abhi abhi toh aankh khuli hai

Tu kyu sooraj dubana chahta hai

Ruk ja samay

Tu ruk ja


29 Jan 2020

Wish I was in Wuhan

Yes, it sounds stupid to wish to be in a quarantined city at the risk of being infected by the Novel Corona Virus but I am impressed by the chants of solidarity by the residents in Wuhan. This is nearly spiritual :)

Meanwhile, some British humour:

Bloke 1: "These students wearing masks in London trying to protect themselves from a virus in China is just preposterous! Don't they know the UK has zero cases of the virus."

Bloke 2: "Oh don't be silly. I would rather die with the virus than go to the NHS for treatment. NHS is way worse. Nobody goes there to report their symptoms. No wonder there are zero cases here." :)

28 Jan 2020

Am I exhausted?

What's with my posts recently? Just one line. Am I done blogging?


This is supposed to be for life! When I cross 100 years of age and look back at more than 71 years of posts, I want to be reminded how stupid I was my entire life :)

27 Jan 2020

Mambaaaaa :(

Death of a legend!

25 Jan 2020


24 Jan 2020

Allergic reaction :(

19 Jan 2020

To Papa and Papa-bhai :)

Loads of love,

Chini :)

18 Jan 2020

Green Book :)

This is a fantastic story!

There is a scene where the character Dr. Donald Shirley expresses his frustration and loneliness - "So if I'm not 'black' enough and if I'm not 'white' enough and if I'm not 'man' enough, then tell me, Tony, what am I? "

My response, if I were there, would have been "You are 'human', and thats more than enough" :)

17 Jan 2020

Section 375

My lawyer friend insisted I watch this movie and I recommend it too. A very interesting court case drama on a sensitive topic.

16 Jan 2020

How to write a thesis :)

Inspired by Paul Halmos' "How to write mathematics"

(1) Write the first chapter and then rewrite the first chapter.

(2) Write the second chapter and then rewrite the first chapter and the second chapter.

(3) Write the third chapter and then rewrite the first, second, and third again.

... so on till the final chapter say n ...

(n) Write the final chapter and then rewrite the first, second, ..., final chapter again.

For n chapters, I will write and rewrite 2 + 3 + 4 + ... + n + (n+1) chapters. That is ((n+1)(n+2)/2) - 1 chapters.

So if my thesis will have say 6 chapters then I am basically going to write ((6+1)(6+2)/2) - 1 = 27 chapters :)

Let the fun begin! :)

15 Jan 2020


Good for her... freedom! :)

Makes me wonder - How is the concept of a Royal Family still a thing in the age of democracy?

Anyway, this is funny!

12 Jan 2020

Left Right Left Right :)

I am nearly 30 and I still don't know what is left wing and what is right wing 😂😂😂

Then I did some research and found the origins of these terms and it is funny 😭

Why is it called 'left' or 'right'?

French Revolution lead to democracy which lead to elections which lead to people from all classes of society (from rich and royalty to poor) to get elected. France being a cold country meant people won't take bath for many days at a stretch back in 1700s. Paani thanda tha na. To avoid stink they invented their perfumes and colognes. Now you know why french are good at it. Jaisi need waisa invention. But these perfumes were for the rich and ruling class because only they could afford it.

Initially in their parliament, all members irrespective of their ideologies sat together. But very naturally, the cologne and perfume using members gradually started sitting together. Nothing about ideology. Just wanting to avoid the smell. They happened to cluster more on the right side of the speaker. The rest happened to cluster more to the left side of the speaker. By mere chance. Then the members started addressing each other "the gentleman to my right said ..." and "I want to reply to the gentleman to my left..."

Slowly right and left caught on.

😂😂😂 How funny... The divide was not driven by real difference in ideologies but by convenience of sitting with people who smell the same. Some pattern happened to emerge due to this natural divide.

What a weak basis for the left right divide😂😂😂😂😂😂

No wonder, to this day I don't understand either. Also because it is single dimension (only left and right). In NLP, we represent a word's meaning as a point in a high-dimensional space. Think of words floating in a 500dimensional space of meanings. For your visualisation, we may project it down to 3 or 2 dimensions but it comes at a cost of loss in meaning.

Similarly when it comes to ideologies, it is a high-dimensional space where dimension equals the number of issues. Projecting it down to just one dimension of left and right, simply means that the meaning is lost in the dimension reduction process. Think of a sphere in your hand, and if you project it down to a plane then it's a circle and further down to a line and it's only two points. Now no one knows from these two points if the original shape was a sphere or what.

I keep oscillating between left and right views from situation to situation. Left right left right left right aaage badd (keep moving ahead) :)

03 Jan 2020

N is a number :)

A biography of Paul Erdos

02 Jan 2020

Peaceful Warrior :)

"The right leverage in the right place at the right time" :)

01 Jan 2020

Happy New Decade :)

My theme of this year and the decade ahead is efficiency :)

How I plan to be efficient?

By being

(1) Meditative

(2) Honest

(3) Expressive

(4) Minimalist

(5) Calm

(6) Focussing on one thing at a time

(7) Nishkam karma


Older posts in Smile :) 2019