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As you can see, I am thoroughly overworked (tongue in cheek) and have little time to indulge in other activities. When I do have time, I like to do the following. Note especially the third item.

  • Reading: I love to read, as long as what I read is well-written. I will cheerfully read anything under the sun, but I am a particularly voracious reader of Novels, Social writings, Philosophy, History, Evolution, and Science Nonfictions (not necessarily in that order). Here are some books that I highly recommend. Also, for people who like books, Project Gutenberg might be of interest.
  • Music: I love to listen to music, both Indian and Western. But I do not believe that mere shouting is music. This discrimination sometimes stops me from listening to certain songs that I do not want to qualify or discuss. Classical music is typically not quite in my palate though once in a blue moon I do get in the mood for Bach, Mozart, or Indian classical. I mostly listen to soft rock western music and similar Indian songs, where the words provide more meaning. My favorites in Western music are Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Norah Jones, Richard Thompson, and Neil Young. Among Indian music, I like Rabindrasangeet, Jiban-mukhi Bengali songs (Mohiner Ghoraguli, Mousumi Bhowmik, Kabir Suman, or Anjan Dutta), and Ghazals (Ghulam Ali and Jagjit Singh). Among instrumental music, I love the percussion of the tabla, and the melody of the flute.
  • Food: I love food, as is obvious to anybody who has seen me in person. I make no discrimination on the ethnicity or nationality of food, as long as it tastes good. Very recently I have also picked up an interest in cooking. It sure feels good when a dish you cook is appreciated (by yourself or someone else).
  • Travel: I love to travel. I tend to travel to places of scenic interest. Having grown up in a big city, I am not a big fan of going to another big city on excursion (although I do get in that mood on occasions). I also like to go for cross-country road trips along desolate highways, which I find to be a great way of relieving stress. The United States provide a great opportunity for road trips, and I try to take one at least once a year. My US travel destinations typically tend to be the national parks. I have also visited some places in Europe, such as the Bavarian Alps and the Scottish Highlands. I plan put up my pictures and travel logs when I get the time, which does not seem to be forthcoming.
  • Art: I do not have background in art, but I love Escher for the mathematics in his art. And I guess almost everybody has been deeply impacted at some time or the other (if they had given themselves half the chance) by surrealism and Salvador Dali.

At some point in my past life, I used to love writing (non-technical) essays and poetry. I do not find time for that any more, mostly because I am lazy and that kind of work requires more mental exertion than I am prepared to execute. Well, that should tell you what I like most in my day-to-day life, namely “lolling in the sofa” doing nothing.