Tag Archives: kommunikasie


Voor die vertrek Indië in die laat tagtigerjare, Ek kon 'n bietjie van Hindi praat soos my derde taal. Engels was die tweede taal, en Malabaars my moedertaal. Ek was nie vlot in Hindi deur 'n gedeelte van die verbeelding, maar ek kon praat dit goed genoeg om ontslae te raak van 'n deur-tot-deur-verkoopsman, byvoorbeeld.

Dit is presies wat my pa ('n bevestigde Hindi-phobe) het my gevra om te doen tydens een van my besoeke tuis toe 'n aanhoudende, Hindi-sprekende sari verkoopsman het gesweef op ons voorstoep. Teen daardie tyd, Ek het spandeer meer as ses jaar in die VSA (en beskou my Engels baie goed) en 'n paar jaar in Frankryk (genoeg om te weet dat “baie goeie Engels” was nie 'n groot deal). So om ontslae te raak van die sari-wala, Ek het in Hindi te praat met hom, en die vreemdste ding gebeur — dit was alles Franse wat is uit te kom. Nie my moedertaal, nie my tweede of derde taal, maar die Franse! In kort, daar was baie deurmekaar sari verkoopsman roaming die strate dag.

True, daar is 'n ooreenkoms tussen Hindi en Frans, byvoorbeeld, in die klanke van vraende woorde, en die dom manlike-vroulike geslag van neutrale voorwerpe. Maar ek dink nie dit was wat veroorsaak dat die uitstorting van Fransheid. Dit het gevoel asof die Franse het Hindi in my brein vervang. Wat ook al die breinselle van my wat bedraad is om Hindi te praat (sleg, Ek kan byvoeg) was om herbedraad a la franciaise! Sommige vreemde hulpbrontoewysing meganisme is die herwinning van my brein selle sonder my medewete of toestemming. Ek dink hierdie Franse inval in my brein voortgeduur en geassimileer 'n stuk van my Engels selle sowel. Die eindresultaat was dat my Engels het al deurmekaar, en my Franse het nooit goed genoeg. Ek voel 'n bietjie jammer vir my verwarde brein selle. Karma, Ek dink — Ek moet nie verwar het die sari verkoopsman.

Hoewel gepraat grap, Ek dink wat ek gesê het is waar — die tale wat jy praat beset duidelike dele van jou brein. 'N Vriend van my is 'n Frans-Amerikaanse meisie van die voorgraadse jare. Sy het geen waarneembare aksent in haar Americanese. Sodra sy my in Frankryk besoek, en ek het gevind dat wanneer sy 'n Engelse woord gebruik terwyl jy praat Frans, sy het 'n duidelike Franse aksent. Dit was asof die Engelse woorde kom uit die Franse deel van haar brein.

Natuurlik, tale kan 'n instrument in die hande van die kreatiewe wees. My officemate in Frankryk was 'n slim Engelse ou wat onwrikbaar geweier om te leer 'n Franse ten alle, en aktief weerstaan ​​enige tekens van Franse assimilasie. Hy het nooit 'n Franse woord geuiter as hy dit kan help. Maar dan, 'n somer, twee Engelse interns opgedaag. My officemate is gevra om hulle te mentor. Wanneer hierdie twee meisies na ons kantoor gekom om hom te ontmoet, hierdie man skielik tweetalige omgedraai en begin iets soos om te sê, “Wat ons hier doen.. O, jammer, Ek het vergeet dat jy nie die Franse het praat!”

The Story So Far …

In the early sixties, Santa Kumari Amma decided to move to the High Ranges. She had recently started working with KSEB which was building a hydro-electric project there.The place was generically called the High Ranges, even though the ranges weren’t all that high. People told her that the rough and tough High Ranges were no place for a country girl like her, but she wanted to go anyways, prompted mainly by the fact that there was some project allowance involved and she could use any little bit that came her way. Her family was quite poor. She came from a small village called Murani (near a larger village called Mallappalli.)

Around the same time B. Thulasidas (better known as Appu) also came to the High Ranges. His familty wasn’t all that poor and he didn’t really need the extra money. But he thought, hey rowdy place anyway, what the heck? Wel, to make a long story short, they fell in love and decided to get married. This was some time in September 1962. A year later Sandya was born in Nov 63. And a little over another year and I came to be! (This whole stroy, deur die manier, is taking place in the state of Kerala in Indië. Wel, that sentence was added just to put the links there, just in case you are interested.) There is a gorgeous hill resort called Munnar (meaning three rivers) where my parents were employed at that time and that’s where I was born.

 [casual picture] Just before 1970, they (and me, which makes it we I guess) moved to Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala. I lived in Trivandrum till I was 17. Lots of things happened in those years, but since this post is still (and always will be) work in progress, I can’t tell you all about it now.

In 1983, I moved to Madras, to do my BTech in Electronics and Communication at IIT, Madras. (They call the IITs the MIT of India, only much harder to get in. In my batch, there were about 75,000 students competing for about 2000 places. I was ranked 63 among them. I’m quite smart academically, you see.) And as you can imagine, lots of things happened in those four years as well. But despite all that, I graduated in August 1987 and got my BTech degree.

In 1987, after finishing my BTech, I did what most IITians are supposed to do. I moved to the states. Upstate New York was my destination. I joined the Physics Department van Syracuse Universiteit to do my PhD in High Energy Physics. And boy, did a lot of things happen during those 6 jaar! Half of those 6 years were spent at Cornell University in Ithaca.

That was in Aug. 1987. Then in 1993 Sewe, the prestigious French national research organization ( CNRS – “Centre national de la recherche scientifique”) hired me. I moved to Frankryk to continue my research work at ALEPH, CERN. My destination in France was the provencal city of Marseilles. My home institute wasCentre de Physique des Particules de Marseille” of CPPM. Natuurlik, I didn’t speak a word of French, but that didn’t bother me much. (Before going to the US in 1987, I didn’t speak much English/Americanese either.)

End of 1995, on the 29th of Dec, I got married to Kavita. In early 1996, Kavita also moved to France. Kavita wasn’t too happy in France because she felt she could do much more in Singapore. She was right. Kavita is now an accomplished entrepreneur with two boutiques in Singapore and more business ideas than is good for her. She has won many awards and is a minor celebrity with the Singapore media. [Wedding picture]

In 1998, I got a good offer from what is now the Institute for Infocomm Research and we decided to move to Singapore. Among the various personal reasons for the move, I should mention that the smell of racisim in the Marseilles air was one. Although every individual I personally met in France was great, I always had a nagging feeling that every one I did not meet wanted me out of there. This feeling was further confirmed by the immigration clerks at the Marignane airport constantly asking me toMettez-vous a cote, gentleman” and occassionally murmuringles francais d’abord. [Anita Smiles]

A week after I moved to Singapore, on the 24rth of July 1998, Anita was born. Incredibly cute and happy, Anita rearranged our priorities and put things in perspective. Five years later, on the 2nd of May 2003, Neil was born. He proved to be even more full of smiles.  [Neil Smiles more!]

In Singapore, I worked on a lot of various body-based measurements generating several patents and papers. Towards the end of my career with A-Star, I worked on brain signals, worrying about how to make sense of them and make them talk directly to a computer. This research direction influenced my thinking tremendously, though not in a way my employer would’ve liked. I started thinking about the role of perception in our world view and, consequently, in the theories of physics. I also realized how these ideas were not isolated musings, but were atriculated in various schools of philosophy. This line of thinking eventually ended up in my book, Die onwerklik Heelal.

Towards the second half of 2005, I decided to chuck research and get into quantitative finance, which is an ideal domain for a cash-strapped physicist. It turned out that I had some skills and aptitudes that were mutually lucrative to my employers and myself. My first job was as the head of the quantitative analyst team at OCBC, a regional bank in Singapore. Hierdie middel kantoor werk, waarby risikobestuur en die beperking borrelende handelaars, gave me a thorough overview of pricing models and, perhaps more importantly, perfekte begrip van die konflik-gedrewe implementering van die risiko-aptyt van die bank.

 [Dad] Later, in 2007, I moved to Standard Chartered Bank, as a senior quantitative professional taking care of their in-house trading platform, which further enhanced my "big picture" outlook and inspired me to write Beginsels van Kwantitatiewe Ontwikkeling. I am rather well recognized in my field, and as a regular columnist for the WILMOTT Magazine, I have published several articles on a variety of topics related to quants and quantitative finance, which is probably why John Wiley & Sons Ltd. asked me to write this book.

Despite these professional successes, on the personal front, 2008 has been a year of sadness. I lost my father on the 22nd of October. Die death of a parent is a rude wake-up call. It brings about feelings of loss and pain that are hard to understand, and impossible to communicate. And for those of us with little gift of easy self-expression, they linger for longer than they perhaps should.