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. तुलसीदास (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? खैर, 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, वैसे, is taking place in the state of केरल में India. खैर, that sentence was added just to put the links there, just in case you are interested.) There is a gorgeous hill resort called मुन्नार (meaning three rivers) where my parents were employed at that time and that’s where I was born.
Just before 1970, वे (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.
में 1983, I moved to Madras, to do my BTech in Electronics and Communication at आईआईटी, मद्रास. (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.
में 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 की सिरैक्यूज़ विश्वविद्यालय to do my PhD in High Energy Physics. And boy, did a lot of things happen during those 6 साल! Half of those 6 years were spent at Cornell University in Ithaca.
That was in Aug. 1987. Then in 1993 Sept, the prestigious French national research organization ( CNRS – “Centre national de la recherche scientifique”) hired me. I moved to फ्रांस to continue my research work at Aleph, सर्न. My destination in France was the provencal city of Marseilles. My home institute was “Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille” या CPPM. जरूर, 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.
में 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 to “Mettez-vous a cote, सज्जन” and occassionally murmuring “les francais d’abord.”
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.
सिंगापुर में, 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, अवास्तविक यूनिवर्स.
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. इस बीच कार्यालय के काम, जोश व्यापारियों जोखिम प्रबंधन से जुड़े और कटौती, gave me a thorough overview of pricing models and, perhaps more importantly, बैंक की जोखिम लेने की क्षमता के संघर्ष चालित कार्यान्वयन की सही समझ.
बाद में, में 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 मात्रात्मक विकास के सिद्धांतों. I am rather well recognized in my field, and as a regular columnist for the विलमोट पत्रिका, 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. The 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.