Here are some things other than math/CS and outreach that interest me. While I’m naturally engaged in only a subset of them at any given point, I’m happy to interact with people about any of these (and get exposed to new things).
- Salsa/Bachata and trying out new dance forms (excited about electroswing right now!)
- Playing my ukulele
- Training for a half-marathon
- Reading fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction (major highlights below)
- Playing board games like Catan, Spirit Island and Betrayal at the House on the Hill
- Solving linguistics puzzles
- Watching movies and TV shows
- Thinking, reading and learning about the creative process and critique of literature and cinema: this includes film theory, “making of” pieces, talking about what makes certain poems or short stories work, and more
- A wide variety of wordle variants and group-solving crosswords
- Browsing xkcd/SMBC/PHD comics/The Oatmeal and occasionally, Calvin and Hobbes
- Ice skating, which I’m a complete beginnner at
This list will grow as I remember books and poetry I particularly enjoyed.
We Are All Completely Beside OurselvesKaren Joy Fowler's exploration of memory and the psyche in a wonderfully written maybe-family-drama squarely avoids whatever trope you had in mind. The novel has a rich and syrupy but sharp undertone, and while the ending felt a bit forced in parts, it still leaves a lasting memory. The writing is immersive and easy-going, at times almost lyrical. A must-read for people who want a fresh voice.
The Interpreter of MaladiesJhumpa Lahiri probably became my favourite author once I read A Temporary Matter. While I found the quality of the stories in the book quite variable, the first one is a revelation. Lahiri has mastered the use of restraint, lingering on just the right small gestures to create big ripples in her stories. These are the moments which in retrospect we have experienced too, but probably never consciously recognized until she unveiled them. She has done what great authors do - unmask us to ourselves. And she has done it the way the Earth spins under our feet - not violently, but powerfully.
Autobiography of RedAnne Carson was my favourite poet for a very long time. She masters the balance between otherworldly poetry and grounding narration. Geryon's childhood has so many moments I automatically imagine tinged in sepia light. She models Geryon as a symbol for otherness but makes it an intensely relatable brand of otherness, in what Sam Anderson calls her classic "Carsonian distant closeness."
I enjoy making Kusudamas. Someday I would love to make Hideo Komatsu’s horse. Here’s my first Kusudama from 2018!