About Indra Mani

My Résumé: HTML

Well, here I am, pondering what to write about myself. This section has been long overdue. There were just links to my résumé ( those are still there!) and most of the people who visit this page are not prospective employers. Rather they are prospective collaborators who might like to share their experiences with me. To be able to share experiences and exchange knowledge it is necessary that we know each others interests, hobbies and expertise. In the next paragraph I will be putting a summary of my interests and hobbies and will elaborate each of these in subsequent paragraphs. Please do write to me if you feel like while going through it.

The most pressing issue these days for me is to fulfill my social responsibilities. I keenly observe the trends in our society and suppliment it with literature and press articles in various languages. I try to understand the functioning of our world applying analytical skills that were honed while studying philosohy of science. I work hard, (write sometimes) and try to design new perspectives to clear my understanding. Both of these qualities (persistence and novelty) enable me to enjoy mathematics, especialy Number Theory. While mathematics keeps my brain alert, sports, esp football keeps my body fit and fine. Now that both the brain and body are taken care of, the only things remaining to be revealed are music, photography and art that tender my soul. Lastly, I earn my bread primarily working in the information technology industry.

I still feel that there are things I could not cover in the above paragraph, so browse through miscellaeneous things.

social responsibilities

I see peolple sleeping on pavements during winter nights, whole families including women and minor children slogging at construction sites living in misery, slum settlements full of filth and unhygene, in brief urban poverty. There are things I have never seen yet they exist and are reported by the media from time to time, mass suicide by farmers, people dying of hunger and prevantable diseases, in short rural poverty. Both of these are interrelated. In a way urban poverty that I see stems from rural poverty.

I dream of a world which is sans misère, where cities/towns are beautiful and clean and villages are prosporous. However I still live in a world which is just the opposite. There are some who think that education could bring this change. There are others who believe that free market is panecea. While education in its literal sense might improve the situation by producing more people who can think and can act as agents of change, free market does little by improving the lot of a tiny portion (in terms of people) of the urban economy either due to overburdenning of working people or due to decrease in the level of corruption.

We have a visionary President in Dr Kalam and PM in Mr A B Vajpai. Dr Kalam has authored several books to motivate young people (Ignited Minds, India 2020) which are worth reading. Mr Vajpai has initiated several infrastructure projects which will certainly improve things in coming days. However there the lack of a roadmap from the government and/or political parties to make India uniformly prosporous. Uniformly prosporous India is a kind of mission for me in order to realise my dream.

literature

I read extensively in Hindi, English and have just started reading in french. If I need to identify one authour each from these languages, I would name Ajneya, P G Wodehouse, and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This topic is large and you can view my literature page for more details.

press articles

I usually read the Hindustan Times and occasionaly Times of India, Hindu, Economics Times (english dailies) and Dainik Jagaran, Hindustan, navbharat times (Hindi dailies), and India Today (weekly). Besides Print media, I also keep tabs on the electronic media and read articles from NDTV, BBC, Le Monde, and zMag. I like Chomsky's articles on zMag very much.

various languages

I can understand Hindi, English, French, Bangla, Gujrati, Urdu and punjabi. Of these I can read the first four and to some extent Urdu. I can write and speak the first three and struggle with Bangla and Gujrati.

philosohy

I did a course on philosophy of science sometime during 1995-96. This enabled me to critically analayse argument and identify seductive/falacious arguments.

B Russell is one of the prolific writers, mathematicians and great philosophers of the XXth century. He has written on varied subjects, from history of western philosophy to philosphy of mathematics to the impact of science on society to marriage and morals. For the beginners, his book The Problems of Philospphy is a gem and is available freely in etext form from project guttenburg.

In other sense of the word, philosophy is a kind of way of life. In this regard I have read writings of Swami Vivekanand, Dr Radhakrishnan, Mahatma Gandhi and Osho. I am left impressed by the zeal of Swami Vivekanand, sholarship of Dr Radhakrishnan, strength of character of Mahatma Gandhi and fearless thinking of Osho.

write sometimes

I find writing quite laborious. It takes a hell of a lot of time for me to put my thoughts on paper. But once written I find it very hard to restructure. Most of the things I wrote were addressed to my community of friends and regarding interesting events happening around me. Some of it can be published publically though. There are also a few unpublished poems in hindi.

design new perspective

I always wonder how most of the conflicts could be resolved if we just could understand or know the point of view of the other party. Not only can the ability to think new perspective help in conflict situation but it can also affect one's mood. The classic example of this is half-empty/half-full glass of water - for a thirsty person first perspective leads to pessimist mood while the other has optimistic overtones.

Edward de Bono has been working in this area for years and has written a great many books revolving around the same theme. He has invented the term 'lateral thinking' which is a thinking process to design new perspectives. Theory behind it is elaborated in his book I am Right You are Wrong while tools and applications are described in his other book Serius Creativity. I have used his 'Six Thinkng Hats' technique in one of my previous workplace and gathered very innovative ideas to improve ones product by collective thinking during disciplined creative thinking sessions.

mathematics

Mathematics has fascinated me since my school days. The charm is still very much there but I am hardly doing it these days. Being an engineering student, I was primarily taught applied mathematics. However branches of pure mathematics such as Algebra, Topology, Analysis, Number Theory always intrugue me. Of these I learned the basics of Number Theory thoroughly by solving all the problems of An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers Third Edition by Ivan Niven and H S Zuckerman. The pending list includes Topics in Algebra by Herstein and Introduction to Topology and Modern Analysis by G F Simmons.

Once , along with a friend I, wrote a paper on Magic Square which could not be published. I will put it on the web soon.

sports

I have always enjoyed sport. During school I used to play kabaddi, badminton, cricket, carrom and chess. During graduation days, every smester was devoted to some new sport and I tried weight lifting, swiming, basketball, table tennis, tennis and all the previously mentioned games except kabaddi. Badminton and carrom were the games I could excell in during this period. After graduation I ventured into playing football and this is my regular workout since then with occasional indulgence in TT, badminton and cricket. On some weekends we take on one of the B division clubs of Delhi and during this season we are 2-1 up in the matches I played full time! These days I am working to improve spot kicks and certain faults in my dribbling technique.

Whenever I get time I watch football matches at Ambedkar Stadium, tenis matches at DLTA, hockey matches at Shivaji Stadium and european football, indian hockey and cricket on Television.

music

I got my first flute from an uncle who was a flautist in 1986 who bought it for me from a fair. It lay gathering dust for around 4 years until the musician within me awakened in 1990 thanks to my room mate who was also a flutist par excellence. After a lot of struggle (my mother was certain that it would ruin my studies) I managed to bring the flute to my hostel. I had had my share of struggle and now it was the turn of my comrades to suffer. It took me many months to discover music in my flute. Discovering music in the flute was just the beginning. As a side effect I could play similar tunes on the keyboard and kaharawa on dholak.

All this time I was evolving towards Hindustani Classical music. My collection of songs started growing in number and variety. Contemporary songs to older songs, to vintage songs, to Saigal and Begum Akhtar, to Hindustaani Calassical records. In between there were SpicMacay live concerts.

I used to practise on the flute all these years, till 1996 when I started learning HC vocal music. I learnt for around a year and half from two gurus and am trying to practise on my own since then. Even though I can not sing as I wish I could, it has a very soothing effect on me. In coming years hopefully, I will be able to sing to my own expectations. Meanwhile I try to be regular with my riyaz and attend as many concerts as possible. You can look at my music page.

photography

I picked up a camera sometime in 2001 for the first time. Initially I used to carry it with me whenever I used to move around. Over a period of time I got a variety of street photographs. Then I picked up Qutub Minar as my subject of study and improved my concepts by repeating shots. As I am getting my fundamental clearer, taking photographs is becoming harder and harder. You can view some of the albums in the photo section.

art

I tried water colours, but for one week till date. It resulted in 3-4 small paintings which I generally use to decorate my workplace! SImilarily I tried my hand at sketching as well but the results were rather unpredictable. I could only sketch cartoons of those I really disliked. For a long time I had not made any attempt on painting or sketching. Recentely I acquired basic skills with GIMP and Blender to create 2D/3D-Art and animation. I hope to polish it further to create and publish something soon..

information technology

Not only has computing always been associated with my professional life but it has invaded my leisure as well. I consider Linux to be a great OS platform and use it at my home. These days I am trying to contribute by translating GNOME po files into hindi.

miscellaeneous things

I like strolling in gardens in the mornings/evenings. There are three nice gardens covering around 1 Square Km nearby where sometimes I jog as well. It is very refreshing.

I love good food, and have visited most of the restaurants/dhabas nearby to satiate my taste buds. I like any kind of food as long as it is well prepared and vegetarian. I like tea @ road side tea stalls, south indian filter cofee and cofee @ Barista.

I used to watch movies regularily. I liked Hollywood movies better. However Andaz Apna Apna is my most favourite movie.

I practically don't watch TV except for some matches but sometimes listen to FM radio.