March 13, 2010

Questions asked during my visit to Pune/Bangalore/Mumbai.

The most common question asked to me in the last few days is शादी के लिए आये हो? (Have you come for marriage). My mind would answer शादी के लिए नहीं, शादी के वजह से आया हूँ, लडकियाँ देखने के लिए आया हूँ ; I have not come for marriage/Shaadi, but I have come because of Chadi, I have come to see girls (my nieces and cousin sisters :p). This answer would be really complex to explain hence I would respond by a smile and let them interpret the smile.

The Planete team in INRIA has a permanent researcher named Chadi -- pronounced शादी by the Lebanese; his wife recently gave birth to a baby girl. His excitement and happiness in the last few months was one of the primary reasons that motivated me to come to India and visit my cousins, nieces, and nephews. My mother is also to be given a lot of credit for this visit as she ensured that whenever I called them on Skype she would make my sisters two year old daughter say - मामू यॉ (Mamu come in Konkani) with a toy airplane in her hand. This trip has been successful till now as I was able to meet most of my cousins, nieces, and nephews. I was able to see them dance, sing poems and most of all their tricks, flexibility, and climbing skills while trying to run away from their mothers who in turn give their 100% while trying to feed them :).

Another question which was asked was, Will you settle down in France? Now this was unexpected as no one asked me if I would settle down in Delhi while I was studying in IIT Delhi. My answer was a smile and I left them to interpret it. To be frank, I have no answer to this question. Preferably I would like to come back to India and teach, however, that is what I would like to do. I am no sooth-sayer who can predict what can happen three years from now; further, given the events that have happened in the last 3 years I am confident that I cannot predict what will happen in the next 6 months. I had not expected nor planned a PhD while I was studying in Delhi. In fact it was because I was not sure about a PhD that I decided to pursue an M.S. in IIT Delhi even after being selected for a PhD in IIT Kanpur. When I came back from my masters and while working in a start-up I finally confirmed that a PhD is what I need, but even then I had not decided as to where I would study. It was because of Arzad, my advisor in Delhi, and his post-doc experience in the Maestro team in INRIA Sophia Antipolis that I decided to apply to INRIA; however, even now I do not have satisfactory reasons as to why I decided to do pursue PhD studies in the Planete team despite all the good things Arzad told me about the Maestro team - the team which shares the floor with the Planete team in INRIA. So studying in France was unexpected and given all this unpredictability I have only one answer -- I need a good PhD with good publications; what happens after that will be decided after I defend my thesis. I only know that my advisors, Arnaud and Walid, are good and INRIA offers me the resources that are required for a good PhD. I am not bothered about what I will do after my PhD and where I will go after 3 years.

I also got to face many questions about my other plans of the future such as marriage, and as in the case of the above questions, I answered with a smile :). I realized that this is what my sister meant when she advised me to keep my mouth shut and mind open while doing a PhD :).

No comments: