Monday, November 16, 2020

Happy Siegel’s Day!

Today is Warren Siegel’s birthday and as is usual to post private messages publicly on social media (Are blogs considered social media nowadays? Were they ever?):

“Wishing you a pleasant day and a great year ahead.”

Warren Siegel

Reminiscing about past, especially all those semi-physics chats I had with him, I stumbled onto some of his “quotes” that I had saved somewhere secret. And then I thought what better (space)time to air them out than (my blog) on his birthday. Some of his quotes have already appeared here, for example, in “Random Quotes” section of this post.

The first one is about E. Sokatchev, one of the discoverers of ♫ Superspace:

If it is so easy, why give it to a grad student? Why doesn’t he do it by himself? Though I am getting you to do these calculations, so I shouldn’t complain!

I guess the context is pretty clear. The “it” above refers to some (easy?) calculations that Sokatchev assigned to one of his students and “you” is me (obviously). I also had nothing to complain about “those” calculations.

The second quote is about D. Storey, whose work on Feynman supergraphs was relevant to our work (context for the quote on InSpireHEP):

He wrote these two papers in 1982, and then wrote one paper in phenomenology in 1985 and that was the end of him. Hope this is not a prediction.

The prediction refers to the fact that I had barely two papers till then. I haven’t written any phenomenology papers yet but who knows what future holds.

The third quote is a little bit philosophical and I don’t really remember the context. Though, even without context, it is quite relatable and true and a great candidate for inclusion in a list of top 50 quotes by him:

It seems people no longer read others’ papers. They just do their own thing and ignore anything different from their own way of doing things.

The fourth quote is again philosophical and is a great candidate for inclusion in the list of his top 10 quotes:

You know, people forget other people.

Hoping people don’t forget WS for eons to come.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

More Waseem Barelvi

I keep coming back to Dr. Waseem Barelvi because his Shers / Ghazals are just that good. They are inspirational, uplifting and motivational in the best of times and given that the worst of times are upon us now, they mean a hell lot more. Just to keep my spirits high this falumn season, I have ordered a book of Ghazals by him along with two others by (Late) Dr. Rahat Indori and Dr. Bashir Badr. Bashir Badr apparently started writing poems at age seven and I have even heard of an anecdote that his M.A. syllabus included prescribed readings of his own Ghazal(s)! Sadly, I have become aware that he is suffering from dementia now and doesn’t remember even his most famous Shers. These are the three books that I got:

Great Shayari

Waseem Barelvi’s book titled चराग़ (Lamp) is very apt on this day, which is the festival of lights, called by many names in the Indian subcontinent: Diwali, Deepavali, Tihar. So wishing you all “Happy Diwali” and “Prosperous New Year”.

Ironically, all the three books feature some sort of a lamp on the front cover but the other two books’ titles are only vaguely related to it. For example, Rahat Indori’s book is titled नाराज़ (Angry / Annoyed) and maybe the flame of a lamp represents the silent rage of discontented masses. Then there’s Bashir Badr’s book titled मुसाफ़िर (Traveller), which suggests that one might need a flickering light of a lamp to illuminate one’s path. Anyway, more on these books in future posts. For now, we focus on the following Shers:

बातों बातों में जहाँ बात बिगड़ जाती है
फिर बनाओ भी तो वो बात कहाँ आती है

Baaton Baaton mein jahan baat bigad jaati hai
Phir banaao bhi to wo baat kahaan aati hai

When chats devolve amidst chit-chats
Fixing later won’t bring the chats back

हम बताएं तो बताने की जरूरत क्या है
किस को मालूम नहीं आपकी नीयत क्या है

Ham bataaen to bataane ki jaroorat kya hai
Kis ko maloom nahin aapki neeyat kya hai

I can tell but there’s no need to tell
Who isn’t aware of your intentions

अपने बाजार का मेयार संभालो पहले
बाद में पूछना मुझसे मेरी कीमत क्या है

Apne baazaar ka meyaar sambhaalo pahle
Baad mein poochna mujhse meri keemat kya hai

Take care of your shop’s standard first
Only after that ask me what is my price

– वसीम बरेलवी (Waseem Barelvi)

Waseem Bareivi - Mushaira at Riyadh 2018 - YouTube