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Chapter-2: The instability & life sucked


9 min read

Feb 24



The Past: Kondapur, Hyderabad.

“You got a new match!” Beeped my phone.

“It’s from the Tinder app?” I tried recollecting listening to the alert sound. Yes, it’s the dating thing! You swipe right with random people you like and if they swipe right too you get a match. Long story short Meghna my friend and my lab assistant, a person I rely on, a person who shares my mad ideas, and the only one who supports me literally in thick and thin without expectations, installed the app on my phone and created my profile. I just had it on my phone but never used it! I kept ignoring all the notifications to date, Meghna randomly checks and un-matches non-potential profiles she thinks who isn’t a good fit for me.

Life was boring and I never needed the motivation to socialize. I was working on Field Quantum Entanglement, the study of particle movements in spatial proximity, in simple terms the behavior of two or more particles is identical in similar quantum conditions. Basically, I’m trying to help particles time travel with the help of one another in a controlled environment. Okay, okay, we are drifitng away! So I opened the app and saw this girl with a beautiful smile in the first photo, the second with a weird smile with two knives containing a graphic image of a chicken, the third on a mountain top with a plush green mix of trees, plants, the fourth on her knees proposing Kishore da statue, the fifth with a glass of whiskey wearing cool neon glasses and the sixth after her sweaty Zumba session in her sky-blue hoppers and black hoodie with a ‘I’m a good bitch’ print. 

Proposing Kishore da and posing violently with a chicken didn’t quite add to my cognitive sensibility, “Who is this girl?” I thought and ignored her after receiving a call from Professor Satish. I am co-authoring a paper with him on the spatial transfer of particles. 

“what’s up, Tej?” Called Meghna walking into the room/ lab/ everything I’ve ever dreamt of building is in this room.

“These neutrinos don’t seem to be happy.”


“Nothing, I got a match today on Tinder! I like her character in the pictures, the bio seems interesting.” I said smiling.

“Really? Let me see! What’s on her bio?” 

“If Higgs boson is a god particle, did we create god?”, “I mean who writes such a bio on Tinder? Two things here one, someone who knows about boson is definitely interesting and two I can just hang out with her listening to Kishore da, even tho I am not the talking type, O-M-G! Problem solved.

“Before you hype more about her, give me the phone first.” She said grabbing the phone from my hand.

“Jyothsna!” I don’t know Jyothsna before, old name or a very rare name?

“You are asking me? Funny!”, “If I would’ve had the slightest humor that you are thinking of, I would’ve got laid by now.”

“Not funny. I own the responsibility of getting you laid!” She said typing something on the phone.

“Don’t mess with me. Are you texting her?” I said running towards her trying to grab my phone. 

“I was thinking of an opening line which is something creative, catchy, and a bit humorous like: ‘You know bosons are crazy they run away from people at 299,792,458 m/s but I can text you back at 300,000,000 m/s. I dare you, try me!’ What say?”

“Resonates with her bio, but isn’t it lengthy?” I suggested.

“Give me a better line.” She retorted.

“Okay, let’s send this,” I said and jumped onto the couch, she left the message and kept my mobile aside. “So what are you up to, did you experimentally find the principle composition (quarks and gluons) of bosons? The IISC-B is gearing up to strip your funding, your Ph.D. research will be suspended bro and without you how can I travel in time?" Meghna said with a frowning face.

“I’m trying, All the funds issued have gone into building this compact collider and you equally have risked your ass to secure nuclear grade Uranium-235, I’m trying. Constantly trying!” I said leaving an exhausted face.

“Okay. Did the particles collide at 1.5 times the speed of light?”


“1.4, the muons decay time is very low, MultiSEM isn’t capable of capturing the decay, oh btw MultiSEM is a slow motion camera that is so powerful that it can shoot higher FPS shots that can record the decay of bosons. So basically it’s a slow-motion camera.”

“Have you tried the 42,000 FPS shots suggested by Dr. Satish?”

“I did. The collision itself is very short to record, I was hoping to send in more particles and see but wondering if this reactor can produce such energy and if this collider can handle such an energy explosion.”

“Try with two, then three particles slowly somewhere, something works. Okay, let me replace the control rods in the reactor (Control rods are used to absorb the heat emitted by the nuclear reactor.)!”

“Also check the reactor temperatures, they are shaking violently above 670 degrees Celsius almost double the temperature of regular nuclear reactors. This is special, this is an important phase in my life!” I said turning to her.

“Okay, I guess we should give it a break before it blasts.”,“Okay, any response from Jyothsna?”

“Nothing yet as I can see,” I said checking my phone. “Coffee?” I asked and started walking towards the kitchen. 

“No caffeine intake today!” Meghna shouted.

“Get out,” I replied and walked back to the table.

“How’s things with Pulkit? Heard you two are fighting.”

“Yeah. He’s asking me to move in with him, I’m not ready yet Tej. I’m scared, he’s slowly started forcing.”


“Yes, the other day he shouted at me in Block 22, created a ruckus, and flipped the table! The bouncers had to intervene to control him.”

“What? Seriously? Flipping a table? I can only warn you, don’t wait till this turns toxic. This will slowly start taking away your life from you.”

“I’m trying, he wouldn’t stop. Every time I try to speak he just makes it ugly and leaves.”

“This is why I don’t like relation-shit.”

“Not all relations are always smooth, there will be hardships, you got to stay positive, sort the differences, and get back to normalcy. I like him, but just that he wishes everything to happen his way and ignores my feelings/ opinions. What do I do? I just wish he changes/ understands me someday.” She said in hope. 

“They say humans are the most hopeful creatures to be walking on earth, little did they know all they can do is express better than the rest of the lot. Sometimes life is never easy, you fight out with a bunch and still, a whole lot is waiting for you to address. All you got to remember is never run away.”

“Right, but feelings?”

“We as individuals run our mind and body through a lot of complex things to process, to understand, but get this it’s not a race to win. It’s a process of learning, to grow. You can only get old in time but mature with experiences. There will be good ones and bad ones, just filter out what you process and everything’s gonna get alright.”

“No Schooling now, I was thinking I’ll tell him again and help him understand but if things go the harsh way, I’ll ensure I end everything.” She said grabbing my coffee.

“Meghna, you always do this. I offered you coffee before!”

“It’s noon, I can take caffeine now.”

“Such a jerk you are. You are prepping for break up then?”

“I may.” She said sipping my coffee.

“At your disposal to crack some bones.”

“Stop.” She said checking my phone for any message from Jyothsna.

“Any luck?” I asked.

“Woohoo! Finally, someone is interested in undoing the gay label on you.”

“Stop. Come here, run the collider set the speed to 1.3x then let’s gradually ramp up the speed by 0.1x. Remember, we have only 80 grams of Uranium 235, so don’t play around.” I instructed Meghna.

“Okay, sir.” She mocked.

“Igniter at full capacity, ready to shoot,” I said looking at the screen.

“Collider temperature stable, vacuumed the tunnel, zero air attained, camera’s in position, control rod’s temperature at -120 C, fire extinguisher intact and functional, dampeners activated, we are good to go,” Meghna said holding the collider push button.

“Ready, set, blast,” I asked checking all the parameters ensuring safety.

“Shooting the muons in 3, 2, 1,” Meghna said bracing herself for the collision. 

“See, that’s the same problem again. You cannot capture this shit, at low speeds it isn’t decaying, ramping up the speed it’s ditching the camera.”

“I get it, but there should be a breakthrough somewhere.” She said looking at the energy graphs produced trying to find the theoretical evidence.

“You know what’s scaring me more? By ramping up the speed, what if we end up creating a black hole? I mean the vacuum is so high and adding to it the speed of muons blasting above the speed of light is just scary. I mean what do we do if we end up creating a black hole?”

“We’ll just get sucked. That’s all! No Jyothsna for you.” She responded after failing to see any improved results on the graph and turning on the control rods to cool down the reactor. 

“I have an idea, I was thinking, let’s try using multiple MultiSEM cameras to capture the decay and combine all the footage in the post-production. I’ll try making a better compound clip, that way it isn’t pixelated.”

“I have a feeling, this might work but you didn’t try the 1.15x speed and why is that?” She asked looking at the records.

“Perhaps, unnecessary?” 

“Nothing is unnecessary, let the collider cool down, and let’s set it to 1.15x, we are not missing any value from the range we decided to test.”

“Okay!” I said and sat checking the footage trying to slow it down more in the post-production to see if anything could help me out.

“Tej there is a Lucky Ali concert in the Hitex in two days, I’m getting diamond passes and we are going,” Meghna said while she was typing on her phone.


“No means yes?”

“No means no.”

“Whatever, I’ve reserved the places so it’s either Pulkit or you doesn’t matter. I’m gonna do shots, groove to O Sanam, rush for a picture and an autograph, set weekend.” She said twirling.

“Good for you. Take a look at this!” I said slowing down the video by 32x, that’s not muon but I’m just curious what is that light yellow spark observed after the collision?

“Play it again.”

“Okay,” I said replaying.

“Which second did this happen? Approximately?” She asked pulling out the paper graph record and looking for any deviations in the straight line graph.

“3 Sec, 84 Millisecond.” 

“There is an energy release but I’m highly uncertain what it is. Could be many things, maybe a muon neutrino but not an antineutrino. The mass and energy don’t match with the theoretical values!” She said rechecking the standard theoretical values.

“Okay,” I said running towards my phone which I left for charge.

“Did Jyothsna reply?”

“Yes,” I said opening the message. “I can help you find a job, you need it. Good luck!”

“Whoa. That was an insult!” Meghna said laughing.

“I asked you not to send that line,” I said worriedly not able to think of any comeback to her message.

“Chill. Give me your phone!” 

“First tell me what are thinking to reply?”

“Give me.” She said grabbing the phone from my hand. “IISC-B already did that, glad I saved your time.”

“Anything better?” 

“Sure, only if it be your assistant.” This is better, she said and without asking me sent the text.

“Meghna…” I said and watched her cluelessly and waited for Jyothsna’s reply.

“That’s one tedious job, decide now. I’ll give you a second chance!” Replied Jyothsna instantly.

“My friends call me tedious, now I understand why.”

“Such a bad joke. Morning 8 AM, Raheja Mind-space block 13. Gotta get back to work! Bye.”

“Yo,” Meghna replied and threw my phone at me. “See, I promised you I’ll get you laid. Now it’s you who should make it happen.”

“Ruined. Period!” I said walking away from her.

“Everything’s gonna be alright.” 

“How? I don’t know a thing about her. Leave about initiating a conversation, I can’t even stand and look at her confidently.” I said looking myself in the mirror.

“Simple, Shape that beard, don’t clean shave. Wear casuals, wait let me pick them for you.” She said and reached out to my wardrobe. “White and denim, simple yet classy. Don’t talk too much science, go through her profile again, and check if you find more profiles on that name on the internet. Understand this is primary research, get into every possible detail but never talk to her about a thing you saw on the interest. Know about her but don’t say anything about them it’ll give her a strong clue that you did your part of the research, so act normal but observe. That’s the most simple yet effective solution with a success rate of over 90%!”

“Okay. I’m still not feeling right about this.”

“Everything’s gonna be alright. YAYY!”

“My advice: Don’t flirt with Jyothsna. Be natural and open to yourself! But let her be the initiator and you just follow. Don’t be a disrespectful ass, don’t blabber space facts and numbers.”


“Okay. I’ll come back tomorrow for the update! Now, bye.” Meghna said leaving.

“Meeting a new person is a little stressful but when you have emotional feelings for them this stress is multiplied by a factor called impression-phobia jitters. Often this conflict of thought never lets you be your authentic self but there is no reinventing this process of dating.”

“Jyothsna. Don’t be harsh with me!” I said to the air walking on the balcony. Here is where I’ve spent half of my life and the other half is at the collider machine! I don’t have a personal life as such, this date is my first and will remain a special one but I do hope it turns out to be a great experience.

“Good luck to me!”


9 min read

Feb 24



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