(All of us are born curious. Some of us actively practice it, irrespective of age. Our Curious Cases series give you a glimpse into the minds of such curious folk. May they rub off you the right way!)
Shrikant Joshi is a popular voice in Pune, who natters away on an FM Radio channel for hours on end. But off the mike, he's a self-taught programmer, and reader among his many vocations, and is never short of a word or five. Having hosted a few quizzes for us, we've always been curious about his case!
What I do
On the Curiosity scale, I am...
What I prefer to consume (in descending order of preference):
Books -> TV Shows -> Audio -> Movies -> Newspapers -> Social Media
Number of books and movies I get through in a year
One book I’d recommend to a friend / colleague:
My best source for book / movie / website recommendations:
Bookstores. I know they are a disappearing breed but most of the books on my "To Read" list have found their way there through casual browsing at bookstores. I don't judge books by their cover alone - I also read the fly-leaf and the back.
I am not an avid movie-watcher but if I had to contend with them, I'd say that movies are an easier devil to deal with. My job alerts me to interesting movies. Conversing with the people involved in the making of a movie gives me an idea of whether or not I want to watch them. If that option isn't open, I'll usually ask a particular friend of mine whose interests are very much in sync with mine.
One movie / show I’ve loved that hardly anyone else has watched
The Majestic, starring Jim Carrey
I am currently reading:
One place on Earth that I am very curious about:
Not sure if this counts as a place (or as an answer) but I'd like to say: My own brain.
I have absolutely no idea how it works.
What, for instance, is prompting me to put these very words down in this text-field? How - after considering places like the Louvre, JPL labs, Mt. Rushmore and Stamford Bridge - did I arrive at the conclusion that my brain was a far more potent candidate?
(PS: If you are looking for a geographical place, I'd have to say the North Sentinel Islands, off Andaman and Nicobar. Or North Korea. Or the Bermuda Triangle.)
Website(s) that I get a lot of useful info from:
top.st - aggregator of news headlines from various Indian news portals
reddit.com - same as above on a larger scale
news.ycombinator.com - same as above for tech-specific news
One topic I am super-opinionated about:
People come to me to find out what I think about these topics:
Radio and related media.
What I prefer to use (in descending order of preference)
None -> IRL -> Phone -> Text/WhatsApp -> Facebook -> Twitter -> Quora -> Stalking -> Talking -> B&E -> Telepathy -> ... -> LinkedIn
The strangest food item I have eaten
It was some kind of a casserole dish I once cooked as a bachelor - leftovers thrown together and cooked with some scrambled eggs. You tend to have a very optimistic view of your physiology as a bachelor.
If I could spend a day in the mind, body, and shoes of a person, it would be...
Isaac Asimov's mind, my own body and Neil Armstrong's shoes
One interesting / fun fact I recently learnt:
An Indian astronomer mathematically accurately calculated the existence of Pluto in 1911-12 - a while before it was announced. He predicted TWO extra-Neptunian planets and named them Brahma & Vishnu. His mathematical parameters for Brahma's existence closely match those of Pluto.
I stay up-to-date by doing this...
Lurking in various online communities, regularly checking the websites mentioned above, occasionally checking my Twitter and FB feeds.
One interesting / fun fact about myself
I don't talk as much as people think I do. :)
I express my curiosity by doing these things:
Asking DuckDuckGo, Wikipedia and Google - usually, in that order.
On a typical day, that ends up being enough to satisfy my curiosity. On the rare day that it doesn't, I call up people knowledgeable in the matter and speak to them about it. If that doesn't work, then asking the question in an appropriate open-forum is the next step.
If that doesn't work, well, I've got a potential Ph. D topic on my hands, haven't I? :)
The one thing I am very interested in
A habit or skill I’d love to acquire:
Running (or regular exercise) - I like running, I just can't find enough motivation to do it on a daily basis. Can I borrow some of yours? :)
A movie or TV show that taught me something new
No, I am not going to say "cooking meth via Breaking Bad" because that did not happen. However, most of the newer TV crime shows focus on specific professions (lawyer, detective, cop, criminal) and reveal interesting aspects of the day-to-day lives of these professionals.
That being said, Richard Castle taught me to be narcissistic. Neal Caffrey taught me to be 'con'fident, Phil (from Modern Family) and Homer taught me that you can be a dumbass and yet be a good fella/father. Sherlock (the book) taught me that all puzzles can be solved. Sherlock (the TV series) taught me that you CAN pronounce "penguins" wrong.
If there was one mystery I’d like to solve, it would be
I would love to do this at least once
Become Doctor Manhattan
People I would like to ask all these same questions to:
Douglas N. Adams
...the list goes on.
Curiosity is important to my work because...
The more curious I am, the better my radio show.
If I take things at face-value, I might end up looking like a fool on the show or - worse still - passing the wrong message to the listeners.
I don't have to be knowledgeable about a subject - we have experts for that. However, I can't go into a show (or an interview) unprepared and just 'wing' it. Not only will I be wasting my own time but I will also be wasting the time of everybody involved - and that adds up to a lot of wasted man-hours.
Someone I know who asks a lot of questions
My curiosity tip