Saturday, December 26, 2009

Leaving for New Delhi tomorrow

I am leaving for New Delhi tomorrow for new year's eve celebration with cousins and friends. I will directly come to PRL, Ahmedabad to attend WHEPP from 2nd January 2010. Looking forward to some good times there with sub-zero temperature and good company :). Its a great pleasure to go to Delhi specially in winter. The chilly weather and the delicious street food like chats and all are so nostalgic to me. I will be there for just three and a half days and won't be able to meet all of my friends there. I hope they won't complain even if I don't meet them since I will be there for a small period. I am planning to meet my friends in IITD, JNU this time, but not very sure yet since these places are quite far from the my cousin's house where I will be staying. Anyway lets see how things go. I will have to utilize these three and a half days properly since I will be in Gujarat (a dry state) for the next six months. At the same time I will have to make sure that I can attend WHEPP from 2nd Jan without any hangover. Just keeping my fingers crossed :P

Visapur Trek

I along with six of my friends went for trekking yesterday to a place called Visapur. Its near Lonavala, you have to get down at the station called Malvali which comes just after Lonavala (towards Pune). The trek was not as long as Rajmachi but it was good. There were some parts where I chose to climb on pure rocks instead of the usual steps. It was amazing. It would have been impossible to climb like this during monsoon since the rocks would be slippery. The weather was sunny and very comfortable, slightly colder than Bombay. We left the IITB campus at around 5 am in the morning and went to Thane. We boarded the Indraini express, the general compartment was worse than hell, it was fully packed and reminded us of our journey back from Pune to Bombay after our NET exam. May be trains from Bombay to Pune are always like this. We probably did not feel as much tired after the trekking as we felt after the pathetic journey. Since there is no village near the Visapur fort (at the top of the mountain) we took food and water with us. After reaching the fort we had lunch there. After having food and taking some rest we tried to find out the way to go down (different from the way we went up). In between we were scared by a herd of monkeys and three buffaloes (wild probably). The buffaloes gave us such a dirty look that we got scared like anything. But thank god they did not chase us, we would have been in real trouble if they did that since we were at the top of the mountain and there were hardly any options to escape other than going down in a hurry. Anyway finally we found the way back which was very steep (almost 60 degree slope) and hence very enjoyable. We reached the train station at around 4 30 pm. We came to Lonavala by a local train and then boarded some express train coming from Bangalore there. Overall it was a great experience. I will miss such trekking in the next six months since I will be in Ahmedabad :( .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Porcupine Tree Live Concert was amazing :)

I was not much hopeful of getting an entry to the concert thinking about the crowd. As the entry was on first cum basis, I thought of going early but could not. Still I thought of giving it a try and stood in the long que. But even after almost two hours the que was not moving ahead and I found myself at the same position. Actually some stupid people were making entry from the front side without staying in the que thereby making rest of us look fool. Anyway I remain patient and hopeful and finally got entry after almost three hours. I missed Parikrama but Porcupine Tree yet to start their concert. The moment they started, it was an awesome experience, the ground started shaking and I felt as if a wind has blown from the stage and has hit me. I never got this kinda feeling when I was there in the Iron Maiden concert. Its just because Porcupine Tree performed in OAT(Open Air Theatre) which is a pretty small place compared to MMRDA grounds at Bandra Kurla complex where Maiden performed. I felt as if the smaller size of the OAT brought more excitement to every corner than it would have been in a huge ground. PT performed for one and half hour. Most of the songs were familiar to me which made me really enjoy the show unlike the Iron Maiden one. The songs like Halo, Time Flies, Hatesong, The sound of Muzak, Open Car, Russia on Ice were really amazing. The best part about their music was their unconventional style as I mentioned before. They are simply not like the heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden for which most of the people are crazy. They have a classic style and very often reminds me of Pink Floyd. It was not surprising when I found many people asking what Porcupine Tree is , what they do, where are they from etc etc. Apart from the music, there were some good food-stalls also including subway, McD, Barista, Dominoz etc. Overall my first Mood Indigo experience was really cool and it was really worth attending. I hope Mood I will bring more such international bands in coming years. Who knows, may be Green Day, RHCP in the future list..:D

First NET attempt didnt go well :(

Finally I am done with the CSIR NET examination last Sunday. It did not go very well. The first paper which is the objective one should have been good because not qualifying in the first paper would mean the second paper left uncorrected. The second paper was good however, I attempted twelve out of 16 required. In the first paper I could attempt around 55-60 out of 100 required. And since there is negative marking in the first paper I am not very much hopeful of clearing it. Anyway NET is not necessarily a one-time affair, I can give a number of attempts till I am 28 year old. Both the journey from and to Pune was horrible. We went by a bus, which was a air conditioned volvo but it sucked more than a government non-AC bus. It took around five hours to reach Pune. But the place we stayed in Pune was superb. The person is a colleague of one my friend's dad. He made real good arrangement for all of us and took us to a restaurant where we had some real good food (which I don't generally expect in Bombay). The examination center was pathetic, it took a long time to find out the room where we are supposed to write our exam. My room was in the 3rd floor of a stupid building where there was no toilet. I had to walk downstairs and go behind the building to piss. Really horrible. Exam was horrible as I have already mentioned. The only good thing was the food we had in lunch. I was surprised by the good and not too spicy food in Pune in both the restaurants we went. The city overall looked cleaner than Bombay. The journey back from Pune to Bombay was too hectic. We came by intercity express general class and may be because of weekend it was highly crowded (quite comparable to a bombay local from Thane to VT at peak hours). I could not find any seat, I could not even move my body while standing, I am still feeling tired because of that. Anyway we enjoyed the trip much more than the exam. Hope I will perform better in my next NET attempt :P

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ohh God..please take me out of this...

Life was pretty cool until few days back. Suddenly so many things have started occupying my mind:
1. Today is December 17th and still grades for the course HS 699 which I did in the last semester have not yet come. The Department should have sent the seminar presentation skill marks to the Academic office but the stupid losers have not done yet. When I went to the academic office they told me that all the students whose marks have not come from the department will be given NP(Not Passed) grades. Can you believe this? It was this damn useless course for which I have come to IITB campus from IIT Gn (where my supervisor is) sacrificing my research and even after attending most of the lectures and passing the written component, I am in a situation of being failed just because the stupid department forgot to send my seminar marks. Nothing can be more frustrating than this.
2. I need to register for PhD which has already been delayed by almost one year for similar stupid reasons. And since HS 699 grades have not come yet I am not being able to do this important thing also.
3. I am planning to go to WHEPP, Asian Winter School, SERC Main School in the next semester for which I need to take academic leave from the institute. I also want to go to PRL, Ahmedabad for some research work. Basically I need to apply for academic leave for the whole semester. In a sucking institute like IITB, this is not a very trivial process. I have to write an application to Dean AP which will be forwarded by my supervisor and head of Physics department. After approval from Dean AP comes I need to write to Dean SA again forwarded by my supervisor and head of department for hostel room retention. I have hardly one week for all these, I just hope I will be able to get all these done.
4. I have the stupid NET exam on next Sunday that too in Pune, three hour journey from Bombay. Its unbelievable that CSIR-UGC don't consider a city like Bombay appropriate for conducting NET examination. I have to go to Pune one night before so that the next day I can reach the examination center on time.
5. There is no food in the hostel from 19th December and no canteen also. Gonna starve like hell :(
I just hope God (if He exists) will take me out of all these shits soon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Reviewer's comments I

Today I got the first set of comments from reviewers of Physics Letters B. They have sent eight comments. Most of them are minor ones which can be fixed by rephrasing some sentences. Some sentences are communicating a different meaning than what we want. So fixing them is not a big deal. However there is a serious conceptual issue which needs some careful study. I need to go to PRL, Ahmedabad soon to work with my collaborator on this issue and resubmit the paper again. I am quite sick of working alone and communicating via emails. There always remain a communication gap in this process. The issue we need to study is regarding R-parity violation in our model and the stability of dark matter candidate. Although any R-parity violating supersymmetric model will rule out a stable dark matter candidate, in our model I still think we can have a stable dark matter candidate which is basically the LSP (Lightest supersymmetric particle). Since our model has $ U(1)_{B-L} $ gauge symmetry, all the R-parity $ R_p = (-1)^{3(B-L)+2s} $ violating dimension four terms are absent from the lagrangian. However the terms which is responsible for mixing the standard model neutrinos with the singlet sterile neutrinos violate R-parity which we are calling as accidental breaking. Since neutrinos are even and the sterile gauge singlet fermions are odd under R-parity, their mixing will of course violate R-parity. But although the sterile neutrino need not be stable unless we incorporate some other discrete symmetries, its superpartner can be stable if its the LSP. Because there is no term in the superpotential which makes this LSP decay into two standard model particles. Hence if the superpartner of the sterile singlet neutrino becomes the LSP, it can be a stable dark matter candidate. I hope we will be able to convince the reviewers through these arguments, without calculating the life time of the dark matter candidates. The following video tells how embarrasing reviewer's comments are sometimes :D

Friday, December 11, 2009

Back in Bombay

I came back last night from Guwahati. The train was awfully late but the journey was peaceful as I got some nice company, a family from Jorhat and Chetan Bhagat's latest book Two States. The book is not a very good one but gave me a good company during the journey which is otherwise horrible as always. The story is dramatic, like many bollywood movies which describes the problems with inter-community marriages in India. The way Chetan has written it looks as if he has just copied everything from his diary with little changes in the names of different persons involved. Anyway although this is his fourth novel, it is the first one I have read, that too under compulsion as I had nothing else to do during the 58 hour long train journey.
The cold weather in Guwahati gave me cold, cough and a very bad throat which I am yet to recover from. Just after coming back I got two good news: I got AA in the quantum optics exam (I have no clue how it happened) and I got an invitation from the SERC main school organizers to attend the school in April. With the coursework finally over and me passing them, it seems like everything will happen in the next semester like I had planned. But I am still not sure about the PRL thing, whether I will be able to shift from IITB to PRL for the whole semester. Hope that will happen otherwise I am screwed again. One headache now is to appear the NET exam on Dec 20th which I had registered without thinking if I would be able to prepare for it at all. I got photocopy of the NET guide book almost two months back but yet to open its first page. With just nine days remaining for the exam, I am not being able to gather courage to go through it. Anyway I am not sure at all if I will appear it, lets see..if I feel I know at least 30 percent of the syllabus by Dec 19th, I will probably appear it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Leaving for Calcutta->Guwahati tonight :)

I am leaving for Guwahatii via Calcutta tonight. Its a pretty long journey, around 3000 kilometers. Although going to my state is always a great pleasure, I will probably be missing couple of things in Bombay. There are some lecture series coming up in this week organized by the SAPD. One more important thing is that my supervisor might come on 4th Dec and I did not know this before I booked my tickets, so can't help. I hope he is not coming to take a note of my research progress, he might be coming for some academic office meeting as usual. After coming from home I was planning to go to PRL, Ahmedabad for one week but not being able to get a ticket. So not much sure about that. Anyway hope to get a feeling of chilly winter in this trip after leaving Bombay where people are still sweating.