Forget me. I’m there.

You don’t have to walk up to stand next to me, you don’t have to hug me. You don’t have to want to kiss me. You just have to look at me in the eye, Stranger, when you walk past. You needn’t smile either. You just have to acknowledge that I exist. That’s all I need.

You just have to drive your car in front of mine and switch on your indicator when you’re taking a turn. Even if there’s no other car on the road except ours and it’s dusk. Turn on your indicator all for me and I’m yours. Tell me you’re closing up for the day just when I’m about to step in your store. Don’t bring the shutters down on my face without a warning. Tell me you’re sorry without meaning it but just because I’m there about to enter your store. Tell me and I’m all yours.

Share an umbrella with your friend when it rains and whisper into her ear about how I’m getting wet, standing in the middle of the road like that. Giggle behind my back about the fool I look and I will thank you. Be annoyed when I set my glass of orange juice on your glass table without a coaster and I’ll know you know I’m here.

Fix the automated doors at the mall to open when I’m approaching them and I will kiss one goodbye. Flash a marquee on the TV asking me to stay indoors because a storm’s coming and I’ll die happy that night. Give me a dial tone when I pick up the phone because I don’t want you to assume nobody’s listening. Somebody’s listening, somebody’s listening all the time. I think that’s me.

So… don’t walk up to me to shake my hand. Don’t bump into me and then act like you’ve forgotten me. Forget me, but when you see me, smile.

The Big Bang did bang

The Hindu March 19, 2014 On March 17, the most important day for cosmology in over a decade, the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics made an announcement that swept even physicists off their feet. Scientists published the first pieces of evidence that a popular but untested theory called cosmic inflation is right. This has significant implications … Read more

The stuff we learn after a plane goes missing

(A version of this post, as written by me, first appeared in The Hindu science blog, The Copernican, on March 16, 2014.) It’s likely any of you knew many of or all the following, but these are things I became aware of from reading news items and analyses of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370, currently one … Read more

Airplanes can still go missing

Airplanes are one of our largest modes of transportation in terms of physical size. With the exception of ships, airplanes have the highest carrying capacity, are quite environmentally disruptive while in operation, and are equipped with some of the most sophisticated positional tracking technologies. Yet, one still went missing last week. Fourteen years into the … Read more

Riffing off the Rift

At first glance, the Oculus Rift is an ingenious invention – not something you can look at and go “Hey, how come I didn’t think of that?” By letting its users ‘step inside the game’, the Rift holds enormous potential not only to herald the proverbial revolution due a disruptive bit of technology in gaming … Read more