December 22, 2008

Meat loafs

For past few days I have been watching Bollywood songs and noted very interesting patterns in the current bollywood movies. All the old horses, I mean heroes, have six packs. All the young horses, again I mean heroes, look like horses. All the heroines are stick figures wearing bare minimum clothes required by the society. All the six packers are also following the heroines in that particular case. I mean, they are also wearing the bare minimum. If it was upto either of them (heroines or six-packers) they won't be wearing anything. Most probably that's what is going to happen next time I will get a chance to watch the Bollywood. No clothes. There are no acting skills anyways. So they have to show what they have, I guess.

After a few hours of watching current bollywood, I had to run back to some oldies. It's simply amazing how beautiful the heroines in that era were and how beautifully they can act. For example this beautiful song.

So refreshing after putting up with so much crap..

December 19, 2008


At times I wonder if anyone really understands the pain someone else is going through. If you express any concern ever, all you get in return is a lot of pep talks. You know talks about how everything will be alright and how we shouldn't loose hope. But really, all those people giving all these optimistic speech, how the hell do they know that things won't get worse? How they know that something good will come out of it? What if it doesn't improve?

And at times, all these pep talks make things worse. At times you are so consumed by the pain that you are not even thinking about what is going to happen next. All you need in those time is someone who can empathize. Someone who understands. No speeches. No false hopes. No optimism. Just someone who understands the pain that's consuming you.

Yeah, yeah I know. All those pep talkers are just being a good friend. It's the way friends are programmed. It's their job and blah blah blah. But at times pain needs understanding and not speeches.

P.S.: Guess credit crunch is getting to me yet again. Nothing to worry, I should be back soon.

December 17, 2008


As I have confessed time and again that I have lost touch with Bollywood main stream. So I had no idea about the movie or surrounding gossips when I started watching Dostana today evening. Only thing I knew that it starred two of my bollywood crushes: John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan. Also some hints about them pretending to be gay in the movie.

I got the shock of my life towards the end of movie when JOHN ABRAHAM KISSED ABHISHEK BACHCHAN. I didn't know that about the movie. I am not sure what upsets me more - that John Abraham kissed someone else or that someone else kissed Abhishek Bachchan. Either way, it was a devastating moment for me. Right now I am in process of recovering from the shock and will soon be in the process of trying to mend my broken heart. They should have a warning signs for such movies. Please pray for my poor heart. :(

P.S.: BTW, today is John Abraham B'day. Just FYI.

December 8, 2008

Facebook status

A friend of mine wants to strangle the person who invented math!

A friend of his has humbly offered to kick the said inventor in the shins while he strangles.

Please warn the inventor, if he isn't already dead.

P.S.: 1. I did my undergrad in Maths. It's my moral duty to side with the inventor. (I need to justify my stand as a lot of my friends will be more than a willing accomplice for the aforementioned strangulation).

2. This friend of mine is taking Partial Differential Equations (pdes) this quarter. The final's week starts tomorrow. I sympathize with him but can't overlook my moral obligation.

3. I have started liking the new version of Facebook, especially the 'comment on status' feature.

December 7, 2008


Recently I took an online survey on the difference in perception of intelligence between American and South Asian. It was part of data collection for someone's research. The questions were ok, like, do you think intelligence is something we are born with or can be it acquired with hard work, do everyone is born with same amount of intelligence? etc. Towards the end of the survey, there was a question that intrigued. It asked:
How much Americanized do you consider yourself to be?
It has been on back of my mind ever since. How do you define and, more importantly, measure Americanization? Well as far as definition goes, Meriam-Webster says:

Main Entry:
\ə-ˈmer-ə-kə-ˌnīz, -ˈmər-, -ˈme-rə-\
Inflected Form(s):
Amer·i·can·ized; Amer·i·can·iz·ing
transitive verb
1 : to cause to acquire or conform to American characteristics 2 : to bring (as an area) under the political, cultural, or commercial influence of the United States intransitive verb
to acquire or conform to American traits
However, I haven't found any measure of the term. Seems to me that it's pretty subjective. If you ask my Grandma, or for that matter few of my cousins, I am completely Americanized as I can speak fluent English and live alone. But if you ask someone who grew up here, I am still clueless. Like the other day my room-mate and I were watching news and there was a piece about O. J. Simpson. I had no clue about who he is and my room-mate reaction was how can you not know O.J. Simpson (Apparently he was a famous footballer in 70s who killed his wife in 90s).

Anyway, question still remains: How Americanized am I ? In order to answer that question, I decided to make a list of traits for each category. Here they are:

American Traits:
  1. I have started understanding and following the American news. I have always been bad with remembering celebrities: Indian, American or otherwise so that doesn't count (still I know Paris Hilton though I might not be able to recognize her).
  2. I don't follow Bollywood any longer. I do love watching movies so I have switched to Hollywood for that.
  3. I have a car and I drive it quite a bit.
  4. I work-out and eat healthy (though I am not sure it falls in American Category...there should be a California or rather Bay-area category for this.).
  5. I have a calendar to remind me of different appointments.
  6. I floss every night.
Indian Traits:
  1. I kinda follow Indian news though not the way I used to.
  2. I still like old Hindi numbers. I don't have patience for English songs.
  3. I still have a bike and love to bike. I don't do it as often due to my schedule.
  4. I still like Indian food and usually eat that.
  5. I don't balance my check book. Ever. That's one concept I can't get used to.
  6. My dentist lives in India.
Well that's all I can think of. Seems I have equal points in each category. May be I am 50% American and 50% Indian. Like half-n-half. At least now I know. Next time I should be able answer that question.

P.S.: I am just procrastinating. I have the last HW submission tomorrow and my code isn't working. I can't figure out what's wrong (Everything is by the book, I have checked at least 15 times) so I am just taking a break...

December 6, 2008

Silver Lining

I have been looking for one silver lining for Vista and finally found one. It's called Mahjong Titans. I spent last few hours playing that. I need to work and write that stupid code yet again. I can't make myself work. So I found a new way to procrastinate.

Someone please make me work. I need to submit my work by Monday noon! Guess I am not sleeping tonight or tomorrow. It's so unfair. I finished 3/4th of my work already. Why should I have to do it again? WHY?

December 5, 2008


Ever since this quarter started, I had been chasing this book. It is recommended book for one of the courses I am taking. They had 2 copies of that book in the library, hence the instructor put the book on reserve. What it means is that you can issue the book for exactly one day. If you don't return the book on time, fine is pretty hefty. So I had been issuing the book for a day whenever I needed it. In view of current economic crisis, I refused to spend $100 on a book that I will use for only 3 months.

Now my current crisis started as this is dead week (week before finals). It was impossible to track the book. I had been going to library everyday for past week trying to get hold of that book with no luck. Today the crisis turned to panic. I have to submit the last HW on Monday. I was running out of time and I was in dire need of that book. So I tried to track down friends who might have the book. Finally found someone who took the course last year. But she lent the book to another common friend. So I knocked his door. He told me that he lent the book to my office mate. So I came back to my office and found the book I had been hunting for days, on the desk next to mine! Just my life...

Just a note to say...


I started working with Vista about four hours ago and it has crashed twice in middle of my work. I LOST MY WORK YET AGAIN. I lost my work TWICE today. It's 4 AM in the morning. I am finally going to sleep. Will deal with this tomorrow...

My new lens

Got a new lens today. Very excited about it. Here is the first picture using the lens:

More to come soon.

P.S.: It's 3:08 AM. I had a very long day. Can't write much...

A very Personal Obituary

With great sorrow I inform that my best friend, Shivani, died earlier today. She was my first laptop. She has been with me for past 28 months. The cause of death is still unknown, however symptoms matched the infamous disease "The blue screen of death". The attempts to revive her were fruitless and since I let my manufacturer warranty expire, we couldn't get any professional help.

I last recorded her sweet memories (data backup) in late November. However, I couldn't finish the recording due to lack of time. I regret it very much. Only if I knew that it was my last chance to save those memories. I was never given a chance to say Goodbye to her. I was half way through my project for my class when this happened. I never had a chance to back up the project and hence have to start from scratch on a Vista machine.

But as Bhagwad Gita says, whatever was created will be destroyed one day. Life can't stop at death. Hence I move on and start working on my project yet again. Meanwhile thanks for your condolences and pray that I finish my project on time.

The loving memories of Shivani will be with me always...

P.S.: 1. In honor of Shivani, I have named my new laptop Shivani II.

December 3, 2008

The Top Brass

So it's happening again. Another bail out under consideration. And yet again the CEO of these companies are drawing millions in salary and benefits. I know Ford CEO Alan Mulally said that he will work for $1 salary but I don't think that's going to happen.

Honestly, I don't have a problem what a private firm pays it's employee or it's CEO or anyone. It's their money they can do whatever they want. But I have a problem when these guys come and ask for public funds. Why should I pay for such ridiculous salary when my own salary is not even 1/100th of their salary? And worst part: if Congress says no, thousands of people will loose job while these guys will be given the golden parachute. How is that fair? Who are these people and why are companies pay them so much? How do companies justify these salaries and benefits? Even the private firms are answerable to the Board of Directors and their share holders, aren't they? So how do they approve of these salaries? And it's not that these so called "top brass" are putting their life in line to save the company. I can't think of any other reason for getting paid so much.

May be it's my inherent weakness in Economics that I am not able grasp about all this. Or may be I don't understand capitalism. But I doubt that any of these can logically justify these salaries.

P.S.: I think, the credit crunch is getting to me. The constant news about business shutting down. The never-ending bail out plans. I feel like everything around me is collapsing and I can't trust anything to make a long term decision. I am not sure whether I will get a job if I graduate. In short, I am scared. I know recession is a normal economic cycle. The trouble is there is nothing normal about current crisis. It is worse than the Great Depression. And that one lasted a decade. No one knows when will this one turn it's wheel. Everything is going from bad to worse to worst. Did I mention I am scared?

December 2, 2008

Wrong Intelligence

For some unknown reason (Honestly. I don't have any logical explanation), I was watching the last interview of first couple, George and Laura Bush, on ABC News today. The interview was conducted by Charlie Gibson.

I don't expect you to go through the torture of listening to him so here is the excerpt from his interview that caught my attention:

You've always said there's no do-overs as President. If you had one?

BUSH: I don't know -- the biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq. A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein. It wasn't just people in my administration; a lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence. And, you know, that's not a do-over, but I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess.

GIBSON: If the intelligence had been right, would there have been an Iraq war?

BUSH: Yes, because Saddam Hussein was unwilling to let the inspectors go in to determine whether or not the U.N. resolutions were being upheld. In other words, if he had had weapons of mass destruction, would there have been a war? Absolutely.

GIBSON: No, if you had known he didn't.

BUSH: Oh, I see what you're saying. You know, that's an interesting question. That is a do-over that I can't do. It's hard for me to speculate.

Now let me put it straight. As I understand this conversation, Bush would have been happy if Iraq had WMDs (Weapon of Mass Destruction) but not if the intelligence has rightly informed him about absence of any (Actually you would need to watch the interview for his expression at that speculation).

And here I thought that would have been a much better option. The US army wouldn't have lost so many soldiers. US wouldn't be center of World criticism. So much money could have been saved. All the pluses. No Minus. But if he hadn't plunged US in a war then he wouldn't be a Republican President now, would he?

P.S.: I think this was part II of the interview. The interview transcript is here. The page on which the above excerpt is here.

Why so excited?

I don't get why all the ads about going out of business sound so happy and exciting? Are they excited to go out of business or are they excited that they will be selling their merchandise at a lower price (which, by the way, is rarely true). Or are they excited for us, the customers, who will buy their merchandise at a lower price? I am not sure but I would surely want to find out. What is so exciting about 'Going out of business'?


Yep I succumbed under pressure and bought a new laptop. I am latest in the list of people who hate Vista and are compelled to use it. Ever since I purchased this laptop, I have been trying to find someone who actually likes Vista. And I don't mean people who think it's alright but someone who actually would prefer Vista over XP.

Does anyone heard of any such person?

P.S.: I think I might have said some time back that I would rather switch to Mac instead of buying a Windows Vista but it was when I thought that I will buy my next laptop when I am earning. I am still a poor grad student who can't afford Mac or related softwares..


I have been good this quarter. You can tell that by number of post I wrote this quarter. I didn't procrastinate enough. I started working on my HWs the moment I got them. I took three classes (excluding my Karate class which I took for credits as well). I did some research too. And I have been trying to exercise daily as instructed in Karate class.

But last week things changed. I didn't do anything. Honestly. I was supposed to finish two HWs and work on my research. I didn't. After a long time, I am putting things for last moment. Unfortunately those last moments are approaching fast and now I am panicking and still procrastinating. Seems finally I am back to my old ways...

November 28, 2008


I still can't believe that Mumbai attacks happened. I still can't believe that someone can open fire in a hospital. I still can't believe any of it. Last time I was this shocked was after 9-11 attacks. It took me a week to finally accept that one. That was world at it's worst, I thought. Nothing can shock me now. It can disgust me but not shock me. But this did.

Which cause can give anyone the right to do this? Which wrong makes this right? What logic? What argument? Can someone please make some sense out of all this chaos?

I have been refreshing the news page constantly for last 3 days like so many. I am not sure that I am glad that it's over or sad that it ever happened. Mumbai might be able to take this into its stride too, like so many other attacks. The city with motto: Business as usual. I am not sure whether it's a good thing or bad. May be both but isn't it high time to put a stop to all this non-sense?

November 25, 2008

Rules of Lab...

1) If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.
2) When you don't know what you're doing, do it neatly.
3) Experiments must be reproducible, they should fail the same way each time.
4) First draw your curves, then plot your data.
5) Experience is directly proportional to equipment ruined.
6) Always keep a record of your data. It indicates that you have been working.
7) To do a lab really well, have your report done well in advance.
8) If you can't get the answer in the usual manner, start at the answer and derive the question.
9) In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
10) Do not believe in miracles--rely on them.
11) Team work is essential, it allows you to blame someone else.
12) All unmarked beakers contain fast-acting, extremely toxic poisons.
13) No experiment is a complete failure. At least it can serve as a negative example.
14) Any delicate and expensive piece of glassware will break before any use can be made of it.

P.S.: Yet another forwarded mail.

November 24, 2008

Stupidity can kill you

You need to read this (click to enlarge):

I have had managers who told me to stand next to the printer because somehow that will get the printer to print faster (Yep that was the reason he gave me) or the one who printed a particular piece of information, climbed two flights of stairs and was trying to find someone's office just because he didn't have time to "email" it. But I burst out laughing everytime (right in front of them, no less. I don't know the meaning of word diplomacy.).

Guess stupidity won't kill me after all unless of course, I die laughing. Actually I won't mind going out that way. Laughing my heart out. Literally. :)

P. S.: This came as forwarded mail today. After snooping around for the source of this news (something I always do for forwarded mails), I found out that this particular news article was part of Weekly World News. You have to visit the Weekly World News site to understand the depth of cheekiness of this site. It's full-to entertainment. Trust me.

November 23, 2008

Yet another one...

I have yet another blog. This time on wordpress. Don't worry, I am not redirecting you to a new link. This one is about one of my passion: Photography. And no it's not another photoblog. It's more of 'DSLR photography for dummies' type of blog. The reason for this treason, you ask..

Well, in past few months I have been overwhelmed by the response from people around me. For some reason, they love photographs taken by me. It has actually inspired quiet a few of them to buy a digital-SLR or in some cases a camera! And off and on I keep getting random questions from them about cameras, lenses and photography. So I thought of putting everything I know (which isn't much. Remember I am also an amateur) in one place. I am no technical writer or an expert in the subject so it's pretty random and haphazard. But if you like photography and have some questions about any particular topic, let me know. I will try to address the issue to best of my capabilities.

Oh yeah, the blog is: Scribbling with light.


I hate paypal. I have been trying to resolve this limited access issue on my paypal account for past week and somehow nothing works. And I don't understand why don't they provide complete information (which translates to step by step instructions for a dummy like me) to resolve the issue. I get that they are trying to protect me but at least let me use my own money. It's my money. I want to spend it. LET ME.

And I absolutely hate the sites that only use paypal as mode of payment. Keep your product with you. I don't want it anymore.

Ok. Now I feel better. I spent last hour trying to figure out how to buy this tabletop mini studio. It's a good bargain but for some stupid reason, I can't get my paypal account to cooperate with me. So now I am frustrated. I am annoyed. and I am very angry. That is, if you haven't already noticed it.

November 21, 2008

My Dear Life.

I hate driving. And more than that I hate driving in the city. Usually if I have to go to the city (San Francisco), I take public transport. Today, for some unknown reason, I decided to drive. Guess I was trying to be brave or something. May be trying to get rid of the fear of the city. And I nearly paid the price. I had two near accidents. One of them would have been fatal, had I not braked when I did.

An idiot started changing into my lane when I was right next to him. And it's not that I have been driving in his blind zone for a long time. I was just going to overtake him when this happened. We were on a two lane flyover at that time. No place for me to go except brake. Thankfully there was no one behind me.

Anyway, so my whole life flashed through my eyes accompanied with that sickening, hollow butterfly-ishly feeling. I have been trying to overcome that since morning. But somehow flashes of different times of my life has been popping up in my head ever since. I think my mind is stuck in that one unfortunate moment and still playing the tape of my life over and over, somewhere in my sub-conscious. I am just getting few trailers now and then. I am not sure how to pause or stop that tape now. How do I tell my dearest, stupid brain that I am not going to die and it can stop playing that stupid tape now.

I tried sleeping, I tried playing games, I tried watching TV, I trieed reading and I tried writing a post but it seems to be too restless to concentrate on anything. Guess only Dr. Time can heal it. So I am waiting. Patiently.

November 18, 2008

Just Once...

..can I get a week with no deadlines, no To-do lists, no schedules. It's been years since I have truly relaxed. You know, just lazying around without feeling guilty. Does anything like that exist in an adult life? Or is it just me who never gets time?

Next week is Thanksgiving and I already have a To-do list that will extend to the week after. I was so looking forward to a week worth of holidays but alas
yeh na thi hamari kismat, ki wisaal-e-yaar hota,
agar aur jeetay rehtay, yahi intezaar hota!

(It was not my destiny to meet (or to be with) my beloved;
had I lived longer, the yearning would have continued)

- Galib
Oh God, now I am desecrating Galib one of my favorite shayar (Urdu Poet). Only if I had a poetic bone in my body, the translation wouldn't have been so awful but again: 'yeh na thi hamari kismat...'

Anyway, the point remains: I want HOLIDAYS. DESPERATELY.

November 13, 2008


I know I must have complained about this for 100's of times in past. I know I discuss this with ALL my Indian friends. And they all agree and still they keep repeating themselves. Each and every one of them. I really want to know why.

Ok let's give some context to this babbling. I am in Las Vegas. And I am stuck in a situation that I don't know the solution to. I am sharing room with one of my very good friend who happens to be an American. Consequently, I am usually with her. Since this is a conference, I am meeting a lot of my old friends who happens to be Indians. Now since I don't want to abandon either of my friends, I plan things to get all of them involved.

I spent one such an evening today. I wanted to walk down the strip (that's the main touristy road of Las Vegas). So I was with my American friend when one of my Indian friend called. I invited him to join us. That was my mistake. That guy kept talking to me in Hindi the entire time even though he knew my other friend don't understand Hindi. And he is one of those friends who agrees with me when I say that I don't like people who converse in a language not known to everyone in the group. And still he kept talking in Hindi. I kept answering in English. It was such an awkward situation for me.

I am honestly trying to understand the motivation behind such rudeness. It's not habit. It's delibrate rudeness. If that was habit, my concious effort of replying in English would have had some result. And this is not the first time this happened. Most of my Indian friends do this. One of them actually apologise while she is doing that and still continue to do that. That irritates me even more. It's acknowledging the rudeness and still keep doing it. What's the point of apology then? Getting a free pass for being rude?

I fail to come up with any excuse in defense of my friends here. I completely fail to understand the reason behind such blatant rudeness. Can anyone explain it to me?

November 9, 2008


I don't get the logic behind spams. Why would anyone waste time sending the most absurd messages and trying to find ingenious ways to avoid spam filters?

I don't get the logic behind the viruses either. You know to spend hours to create a program that will destroy the machine it will end up in.

I get the system hackers though. They are simply trying to earn few quick bucks. I know that quiet often these three are related but not always.

Anyway, today morning I got a spam on my Yahoo account. The sender was: Breaking News. The subject: Barack Obama dies due to heart attack. Though, I am not sure whether it is a hate mail or a spam or both? Either way, I don't get the point of the mail. There was nothing in the body of the message. Or may be it's a psychic vision mail. Oh well, I will never know. Somehow my mind keep reverting to that mail. Like a song stuck in the mind.

Anyway, I am off to Vegas tomorrow for a conference. Will be back Friday. Don't know whether I will get a chance to blog or not during this time though I am certain there will be a lot to blog about. Like, how making us sit through presentations all day long in Vegas should constitute to human rights violation. But then, at least I get to go to Vegas that way...

November 6, 2008


I have been itching to write for past few days but have been too busy (still have two poster and two HWs to finish by Sunday) but I can't delay it any longer.

A lot happened since I last wrote. For starters, Obama won . Gay marriage was banned in 3 states including California.

I have been listening to radio and TV, scrolling through news for past few days. It's the same theme every where. People are celebrating for electing first African-American President of United States (even though Obama never campaigned as an African American. And as much as I know that was one of the major reason for his success. That and economic crisis.). And when they get over that, they are debating gay rights. And that is what my post is about.

Today morning on National Public Radio they were talking about overturning the ballot in California in a court by declaring that gay community is a minority. Hence majority doesn't get a right to vote on their civil rights (well gays certainly don't get to vote on whether straight marriages should be legal or not.). It is a great argument. In a democracy (where majority wins), the rights of minority should be protected by the constitution. The arguments against it are based on "Overdoing" it. Actually, all the arguments I have heard so far against gay marriage are based on that notion of overdoing it.

For example, this lady who says:
You have no idea what their agenda is. To give you 1 example: If a boy tries to go into the girls' locker room, should he be denied access simply because he is a male? Intellectually, answer is no, but in practice, of course the answer must be yes. A teenage boy say I feel like a girl today and he is allowed to go to the girl's locker room. If he feels like a male the next week he doesn't have to. If you deny his access, he is allow to sue. We want to protect our kids. This is just only 1 example I am giving you. We don't hate gays or Les, they already have most rights we do.

Adoption issue. Go research on the kids who grew up in a gay family if they can tell you weather it is a healthy environment.
Only a few percentage are gays and Les. Only 50% do get married. Those who do get married, another 50% of them get divorce in 2 years. This is out in the open if you go do some digging. Trying to change the nation upside down just to accommodate the few percentage? and put our kids at risk?

Technically gay marriage has nothing to do with locker room access or any school policy for that matter. It only ask voters opinion about whether gay couples be allowed to get married legally. Locker room issue is simply an exaggeration that has nothing to do with current debate. It's a mere speculation.

Having said that, I agree t
here is always a danger of overdoing anything. The greatest example being our own India, the biggest democracy in the world. We have certainly overdone ourselves in the name of protecting minority in a democracy. Hence the problem of extreme reservation and pseudo-secularism. We live in pseudo-democracy in India. I wonder if some day they will declare that it's illegal to belong to majority. But I digress. We were talking about overdoing something. And that's where the concept of putting boundaries comes in. You need to draw a line somewhere. For example, the argument that eating food makes one fat so we should not eat. The act of 'eating' is not the culprit here, but 'overeating' is. You need to draw a line between eating well and overeating. You need to draw a line between eating for health and eating for taste.

Similarly for any issue, political or otherwise, you need to draw a line. Most of the time it's a line between stepping on someone's basic civil rights and being over-accommodating. None of them is good. None of them is right. But stepping on someone's right for the fear of being over-accommodating is simply ridiculous. And not allowing two person, who care deeply about each other and wants to spend their lives together, to marry is stepping on their rights. This is not right. In any country, in any time.

Another big deal that most of the gay right opponent makes is about "Protecting our children." . I am not really sure what they want to protect their children against. It's not like being gay is a disease or something that one can immune or "protect" their children against. Or are they protecting them against the concept of being gay? May be they think if they don't offer a choice, there will be no gay people.

And lastly, let's not forget religion. For some reason, Churches (an all other religious institute- as far as I know) prohibit gay marriages. And even though I am an atheist, I believe everyone have a right to practice their religious beliefs. They have a right to not acknowledge gay marriage religiously but they should not be able to do that legally. If a Church doesn't want to marry a gay couple, it's their right. But that doesn't give the Church a right to say that they can't be married anywhere else or that they don't have any legal right to be married. That is so wrong.

Anyway, I had enough of these arguments. Most of them have been infuriating me for past few days. And don't get me started with the adaption proposition in Arkansas. According to the proposition, an unmarried couple can not adopt kids. So they don't acknowledge gay marriage then unmarried couples can't adopt kids. And still there orphanages all over the world that are filled with kids. How is that fair? To anyone? As one of my friend puts it:

Okay, adoption by a single parent (take the gay argument out for now). Is it any worse for a child to be adopted by someone than to spend his childhood in foster homes, being passed around? There is a huge influx of adoption from foreign countries. Will that child be better off growing up in an orphanage, or in a home with one loving parent?

P.S.: BTW, California ballot's Prop. 2 (about farm animal rights) passed. Somehow average Californian have more compassion towards farm animals than towards gays. Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer humans over animals. (Not that I opposed Prop. 2 or anything. I am just saying..)

November 3, 2008

Can anyone explain this?

There are things we know to be implied by what we know that we do not know to be true. Just as a great many conditions I do not regret have to exist (and I know they have to exist) in order for the condition I regret to exist, a great many conditions I do not know to exist have to exist (and I know they have to exist) in order for the conditions I know to exist.

--Fred Dretske

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween...

The silliest thing I saw this year: Sarah Palin.
The scariest thing I saw this year: Sarah Palin.

October 28, 2008


Every Monday we have a seminar by School of Earth Sciences. The main attraction of seminar: Free cookies and sodas. The TA for the seminar this year is a very good friend of mine. So every week I try to go there in order to help her out. Oh ok, I go there for the food. Anyway, that's beside the point.

Yesterday, there was a presentation by GCEP (Global Climate and Energy Project) director. The GCEP is an organization within Stanford that fund different interdisciplinary research projects. The organization main research focus is on alternative fuels and reducing the carbon foot print (Hence Energy and Climate).

So yesterday's presentation was discussing different ways they are trying to reduce the carbon footprint. May be due to a repeated stress on the things we(we as in human race) are running out of and the way those things are dangerous for us or may be some other reason, my brain started doing a very weird thing. Every time she will mention a possible solution they are doing research on, my mind kept coming with questions like:
What if we run out of that too?
Or what if, that experimentation proved to be more dangerous in longer run even though it seems like a good solution now?
What if they ignore some factor and it comes back to bite us? It's not like that it hasn't happen before.
What if we are making everything worse by trying to fix it?
The epitome of this was when she offered a possible solution for decreasing the CO2 emission by burning the fuels in Oxygen rich environment. The process involved extracting oxygen from the air and my mind went:

What if we run out of oxygen?
Scary thought, isn't it? Suddenly, I didn't care about CO2 emmision anymore. Life is no fun without O2. C can wait. Don't you think?

P.S.: Don't worry, it was just my mind playing tricks with me. We won't run out of oxygen, at least till we have plant kingdom on this planet. That's our very own Oxygen factory. We just have to make sure that supply can meet the demand at all time. That's all.

Happy Deepavali

Yeah, I know. Deepavali is on Tuesday and that's when I was planning to post this one but for some reason, everyone is wishing "Happy Diwali" a week in advance (If you don't believe me, then check my gmail account, yahoo mail account and my orkut scrap book: they are filled with Happy Diwali messages). May be that's some latest fashion in India that I am not aware of? Whatever the reason, have fun on Diwali.

(On the auspicious occasion of Deepavali,
fire a lot of loud fire-crackers and make people deaf.)

P.S.: 1. This picture is from one of the Diwali wish emails I got last week. Most probably it's yet another forwarded mail going around for a while. Still, when I saw it, I laughed very hard so I am putting it here.

2. I changed the time stamp on this post so that it will remain on top till real Deepavali. Any new post will be below this one, i.e., if I get around to write one till then..

October 26, 2008

Prima Donna or Role Model or just Post Turtle..

She is Sarah Palin. She travels with her makeup artist (Emmy Award-nominated make-up artist from "Dancing with the Stars", Amy Strozzi ) who gets paid the most ($22,800 for two weeks) in entire McCain campaign. She has her personal traveling hair stylist who gets paid $ 10,000 for two weeks. She spent $150,000 for her wardrobe ever since she was nominated as running mate for McCain (Isn't she supposed to be a hockey mom? The ones that wear sweat pants and turtle necks with running shoes.). Worst of it all: It has been paid by McCain's campaign (Ok, in all fairness, I don't think that her wardrobe came from McCain's campaign money but that's hell lot of money for a governor to spend on wardrobe. I thought they were public servant. ).

Obviously John McCain thinks that "She's a role model for millions and millions of Americans. She's just what Washington needs." Otherwise he won't be spending this much money on her. Certainly not after her performance in the interviews, public speeches or vice-presidential debate. As far as playing a role model goes, I think she is a role model to millions and millions of American women who lived in 60s (or was it 50s?). Their job was to look pretty and keep their mouth shut. Sarah Palin is perfect for that job. She can certainly teach women how to be dumb.

In this millenium, she is certainly a post turtle. Ok, this analogy/joke has been attributed to many politicians but I think Sarah Palin is the best fit for this one. The original joke goes like this:

An old rancher is talking about politics with a young man from the city. He compares a politician to a "post turtle". The young man doesn't understand and asks him what a post turtle is.

The old man says, "When you're driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself. He doesn't belong there; he can't get anything done while he's up there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down."

If John McCain gets elected, I swear I will stop reading newspapers for next four years and I will seriously consider moving out of U.S. asap. I think that will be a good inspiration for me to finish my Ph.D. asap. that case it will be a good thing that John McCain wins. Well at least for my Ph.D., if not for the rest of the world.

P.S.: I have refrained so far from writing anything about Sarah Palin (my previous post was about John McCain and not as much about Sarah Palin herself. I didn't know enough about Sarah Palin then.). I didn't want to dignify her personality with any kind of response so far. But describing her as a role model to "millions and millions of Americans"(or any human, for that matter) is too much to take. I hope John McCain was drunk when he made that speech. He doesn't seem this insensible.

October 23, 2008

I. HIT. ME...

..with my own staff. There. I said it. Now don't rub it in. I have a bump on right side of my head. A few black and blues all over my knee area (do you know how much that stupid knee protrudes out? Why do we have a knee anyway? It's the most injury-prone body part, if you ask me.) Oh yeah plus my wrist, fingers, shoulders...basically anything that's used to lift a staff, is hurting. So don't blame me for not blogging. Blame the staff that keeps hitting me for no apparent reason.

October 15, 2008

Just browsing...

I think Google have some kind of time travel mechanism attached to it (the site not the company, silly). You enter a search criteria and it gives you 6,090,000 results for the criteria (Congratulations! It's somewhere on the Earth.). You start clicking to check just the first 10 results out. Just first much time will that take? 15 mins, tops, but viola! 3 hours gone. Disappeared in thin air as if they never existed. And by the end of it you have a headache (probably due to all the time travel) and you have completely forgotten what you were looking for in the first place (again supporting my time travel theory).

My last time travel got me to places of fascinating beds (of all the things and I WAS LOOKING FOR BUYING AN ALARM CLOCK..hey, I remember now!! Time travel effect wearing off.) Anyway, here are the two winners:

The first one in this category is folding TV bed. Yep. A 22" plasma TV folds in and out from under the bed. You don't believe the video.

And the next one in the same category is, Ladies and Gentlemen, a floating bed. I kid you not. It is A FLOATING BED. It's magnetically suspended above ground. Costs some millions but it does look cool. Though I am not sure where will I put my alarm clock on this one, given I finally buy one. May be they have a floating alarm clock to match it. May be I will buy the alarm clock now and some day I will buy the bed to match the alarm clock. Oh well, one can dream at least!

Right. I need to get back to that alarm clock now.

Managing your Mentor

That was the title of the handout I got yesterday in class. Well the class, itself is titled "Mentoring in Research". It's about how to be a good mentor. It's actually pretty fascinating class. It gives you "strategies" to deal with your mentee as well as with your mentor. Yep. Strategies.

Honestly, it's a very good management/communication/psychology class. And it is helpful but somehow it makes everything so artificial, so shallow. Like, yesterday we were talking about how personal or professional your relationship should be with your mentee or mentor. Obviously it does depend upon person to person but if you notice that a good student isn't doing well, you should actually try to talk to him/her about his/her personal problems. Why? So that you can get the best output (well actually that was not said in the class but written in the book given to us as 'reading material').

Hello? Whatever happened to humanity? Is it now a "job" to help people in distress so that you can have better work efficiency?

I knew there was a reason I hated managers.

P.S.: Yeah, yeah. I am still taking the course. I do need some better communication skills. But I am never ever going to run an emotional bank account like a manager. Sorry. Not me.

Again...Now what?

Sometimes I wonder that why in the world I read news? If we arrange most depressing things of the world, newspapers would top that list. Though it also depends on your point of view. At times I do find these news pieces very funny (yeah I am talking about main news articles and not weird news types) . It's funny because there are people who actually believe whatever some of those idiots are saying or believe that they are right (Like Sarah Palin's supporters). Anyway, I digress.

The point of the post is this news article:
Defection hits Afghan forces.

After fighting the Taliban for the past seven years, many working for the Afghan security forces are now switching sides.

...they deserted for ideological reasons, Nolan explained.

"When Russia came it was only one country, today we have 24 foreign infidel countries on our soil. All our men and women should come and join the jihad," Fida Mohammad, a new Taliban recruit, told Al Jazeera.
No. It's not a surprise. I actually expected this to happen. I expect this to happen in Pakistan, i.e., if it's not already happening. U.S. and Pakistan created this monster and now it has gone out of control like all the monsters do. So now what's the game plan? Create another monster?

October 14, 2008


I was looking back to my summer's photographs and I realized clouds have been a fascination for me this summer. For example, this:

Though, it's cool isn't it?

October 11, 2008

It's Saturday Night...

...and I am home alone. Supposed to be catching up on my reading but instead I am watching the DVDs of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer while eating junkies and drinking coke. And I am bored. So bored that I actually read all the propositions going for ballot on November 4th in California (there are 12 of them). And read all the arguments pro and against them. People/groups supporting/opposing them. God. I need to stop this insanity.

House on move..

Taken from my cell phone while driving. Risky but couldn't let the opportunity go.

October 8, 2008


Lehman Brothers. Remember them? Starting of the second round of current crisis? Right them. Latest on them: Lehman Money Managers May Get $400 Million in Bonuses.

I love this world!

Now what?

In 1991, Soviet Union collapsed. Every one happily announced it to be collapse of communism.

Now we have a world wide economic crisis . And I am inclining towards bad practices of capitalism which incidentally started during the same time as collapse of communism.

So now what are we trying out next?

October 7, 2008

October 6, 2008


Sunset at Galveston Beach: Two years back with my canon digital camera..

Career Fair..

Overheard on the way...
"So when is career fair?"
"Next week."
"Cool. I lost my bottle."


P.S.: 1. For people who didn't get the joke: Career fair is the time when you get a lot of free gifts from various companies. Water bottle being one of the popular items that is handed out during these career fairs.

2. It's also time for a lot of free lunches and dinners, especially if you are about to graduate.

October 4, 2008

Sunset -1

Sunset at an airport.

Current Scenario

Honestly, if I was one of the presidential candidate at this time, I will do everything in my power to NOT get elected. I might have even considered to bolt and run in another direction.

Well I am not an expert in American history but still it looks like the worst deal ever handed out to a president except may be Franklin Roosevelt (remember the Great Depression of 1930s). But at least international status of US wasn't this bad. At least the rest of the world didn't have such strong feeling about it and neither there were ongoing wars against terrorism.

I am not sure why any of them wants to get elected so badly. Whatever. None of my business. Just that I don't want to be in the shoes of the person who gets elected. That's all.

October 3, 2008

Today's Post

..sorry about the title. It's better than the "Untitled". Anyway, here it is. Taadaa and all that...

October 2, 2008

Sunny California...

...completed with blue sky and palm trees.

Beautiful, isn't it?


You know how you have those words that you use repeatedly throughout the day in different ways. You know like 'Cool' or 'Great' or 'Lovely' or 'Interesting'. You roll your eyes and say a sarcastic 'Great' or when you appreciate something, you say a nice 'Great'. We all have it. We change it according to over need with the tone of our voice.

So my life started with a nice 'Great'. Everything was simply great then. Everyone was great. Then I moved to US and everything turned 'Cool'. Sarcastic cool. Appreciative cool. But recently, for some unknown reason, I have picked up the word 'Cute'. And its so not cool. There is nothing called a sarcastic 'Cute'. There is an appreciative 'cute' but that doesn't work in Karate. You know, you can't tell a guy that it was a 'cute' punch or a 'cute' kick. It can be a cool or a great kick but not a cute one. Neither can you tell after watching a frightening episode of Buffy, the vampire slayer: 'Cute'. But somehow that's what I have been known to be doing these days. Everything is 'Cute' for me these days. It's simply getting worse everyday. I am trying very hard to quit but simply can't. Any ideas for getting rid of nasty habits (or should I say 'cute' habits)?

P.S.: Please help. I am not kidding. It's getting worse by the day. I need some serious help here people.

September 30, 2008

Photo time

Since I can't write, I am posting photos for next few days...

Somewhere in Southern California, most probably Tejon Ranch

Technical Writing

Ok, the reason I can't write these days: I am taking Technical Writing class this quarter. It means, I find 202 mistakes in every sentence I write (ok that's an exaggeration. It's actually the course number ENGR 202W). It means I forget what I was writing about. Like now, I rearranged all the previous sentences (I know it still have mistakes) and now I have no clue why I started this post.

Oh well, at least you know the reason behind my less frequent postings (No I am not going to rearrange this sentence. I am not. I am not. I am not.). As if I didn't have enough complexes in my life that I have to expand on my inferiority complex of poor language skills (Yeah I know, there is no connection between the previous sentence and this one and that's the point. I AM NOT REARRANGING.).

Guess I should go and start writing something technical. (No, I am not putting a subject in starting of this sentence either. Deal with it.). You guys have a good day...

September 28, 2008

Disaster Zone...

I declared my room disaster zone two days back. I have to unpack, rearrange and organize everything in my room. How bad is it, you ask? Today morning when I woke up: I opened my eyes, saw my room and went inside my sheets trying to hide from it. It was like waking up to find a nightmare in front of you. You would need a GPS to navigate through my room.

And to add to it, my back and shoulder hurts as I started my Kenpo Karate again this week. Actually we got started on Staff now (my first weapon). It was very exciting and very tiring. My wrists are in a pretty bad shape. Anyway, I should go back to my room now..

P.S.: 1. Ok this isn't necessary but I was excited about it too so have to write it down. I start to teach in Kenpo Karate now as I am a blue belt. It means I should know my stuff well and should be able to explain it to the beginners. Its a different type of challenge but I am excited about it.

2. An antidote that, again, I need to write. Yesterday I was demonstrating a technique to a beginner (white belt) and I actually sent the poor guy flying. It wasn't intentional, honestly. I didn't know I could do that. But I need to confess, it was very empowering to realize that I have that kind of power!

September 25, 2008

From Cheeky Quotes

Gun control? We need bullet control! I think every bullet should cost 5,000 dollars. Because if a bullet cost five thousand dollar, we wouldn't have any innocent bystanders. - Chris Rock
...why didn't administration think of this. It's so easy to control violence.


...I am back in Stanford. Away from that pesticide tasting air; murky, dirty, polluted skies; scorching sun and unbearable heat; waking up at 4 and working till 10; running around for some stupid HR team building exercises. I AM BACK IN STANFORD. Back to Kenpo Karate, beautiful weather with forget-me-not blue skies, green trees, sleeping late, getting fresh vegetables, good Indian restaurants. I am back HOME.

Joined two classes this quarter along with Kenpo Karate and my research. Seems to be an extremely busy quarter. But then there always be procrastination. So keep checking!!

September 11, 2008

Battery Down..

..finally. I have reached a stage when all my creative juices have dried up. I just don't have anything to write about. Guess that's what they call writers block or may be it's just I need a break from all the work. I have finally manage to over-exhaust myself, I guess.

Whatever the reason, all I know that I am not able to write anymore. Not that I didn't start any post in past few days. I have approximately 4-5 drafts. Somehow every time in the middle of the post I am overcome by the feeling that that's not what I want to write about and BAM! I can't write anymore. And that's so weird because all I do on this blog is ramble, whine, complain and rant. And if I can't do that anymore, I am not sure what can I do? That's my life people. I complain, I rant and I whine. That's who I am! I am an expert in that. You know that song from movie Bemisaal:
Khafa hoon, Khafa hoon, Khafa hoon,
Kisi baat par main kisi se khafa hoon

Main jinda hoon par jindagee se khafa hoon,
Khafa hoon, Khafa hoon, Khafa hoon

(I am indignant, I am indignant, I am indignant,
For some reason I am indignant with someone

I am alive but I am indignant with (with or on? Pardon my English) life,
I am indignant, I am indignant, I am indignant)
That song was written for me. That's why I have this blog and now I can't complain! Aw man. No. Wait a minute. Does that mean that I am actually happy and I can't find any thing to compalin about? Weird. Ok. I know the solution now. I need to get unhappy and that too very soon. Any ideas?

P.S.: 1. On second thoughts, doesn't every one who blogs does that because they like to complain or rant? Ok not the tech bloggers or photobloggers but rest of us. You know either we complain about the current political scenarios or the economic situations or social problems or personal problems. We all are here for one reason and one reason only: WHINE. Actually scratch that. It should be: WHINE PUBLICLY. Oh ok. I like to write too. But that's a different story but guess that's the only reason readers actually read us whine about anything and everything. Whoever came up with the idea of blogging must be a good psychologist (or psychiatrist: I will never know the difference). They must have figured out that every human needs to whine so let's give them a space on web to do so. And see how successful it has become. Simply brilliant.

2. Ok. That was a long Post Script. Should have written that in the post.

3. PARDON MY ENGLISH. I am too tired to make much sense right now. Hopefully you can make sense out of this post. All the best!

4. Yay! I finally published this one. No more saved drafts. Does that mean that my writer's block is gone? Or does that mean I am unhappy again?

September 6, 2008

Wanna waste time?

If you don't have anything to do or if you have a lot to do and you are procrastinating instead of working: checkout the new tabs on the Grad Life. I spent last few hours trying to make it work. Most probably I got rid of most of the bugs but there might be few around so kindly let me know if you find problem in any of them.

Happy Surfing..

September 5, 2008

Smart move

Ok. I have been refraining from writing anything about election anymore but McCain's latest move has compelled me to do just the same (though I have resisted it for a week). If you don't know already, he nominated Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska as his running mate. She will be vice president if McCain is elected.

Let me start by making the statement that it took me four years to start understanding the US politics and demographics. In simplest terms, as it stands now: Republicans (Presidnet Bush party, McCain is the candidate) represent the conservative section of US society and believe me, they are CONSERVATIVE. To the extent they want Creation science to be part of high school curriculum. Everything written in Biible is true to its last word, which incidentally includes the belief that the Earth is flat.

The liberal section of US society is represented by Democratic party. Obama is its candidate. Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton belong to that party.

Now coming to current issue. McCain has been often described as rich and out of touch with real people. So there comes his running mate: Sarah Palin. She is supposed to be closer to masses. You know why? Because she accepts of smoking marijuana in her youth. She eloped with her high school boy friend. She comes from a big family (third child of four kids), and have a big family: Five kids. And above all, her teenage daughter is preganent. How much closer can you can go to real people of US? In her latest speech, she told Obama to keep away from "us". You know what "us" stands for? It's a reference to conservative people of US. The people who 'clings to their gun and Bible' as the phrase goes.

I am so looking forward how the world will look like if McCain is elected. It was a smart move on his part and strengthens his chance to win but he lost his crediblity in my eyes.

Sometimes I think that as US always wants to interfere in other people's affair and wants to run the world, the international population should have say in it's presidential election. Afterall, they are the one who suffer the consequences.

September 3, 2008

Google Chrome

Did you hear about the latest browser from Google? They call it Chrome. Unfortunately, my office network doesn't let me access it. I am waiting to go home today and try it out. As they explain in this comic book, it's going to be a multi-processor browser instead of a multi-thread browser. The result: it will be faster than the usual browsers and shouldn't eat up as much memory. I am however conerned if having a multi-processor browser will slow down other processes on my laptop? We will see.

Update: I downloaded Chrome on my laptop. On an average it's not much different from Mozilla Firefox. Javascripts run slower than Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft IE (I have to use IE at work :( ) or Safari. Hopefully they will fix the problem soon. It does have some nice features too. Guess I can grow to like it someday. For now, Mozilla Firefox will do.

September 1, 2008

Caste System

I am a movie buff. I have always been. I like watching movies. In theaters. In nice theaters actually. Not the ones we have in our town (I have watched movies even there). I also admit that I have stop following Bollywood for past four years but I haven't stop going to theaters to watch movies. I watch Hollywood instead. But I digress.

For past few years, I have had opportunity to interact with people from different states and culture which included Bongs (a lot of them actually), Assamese, Tamils, Mallus, Gults and Oriya. Most of them had the same story. They weren't allowed to watch the Hindi movies, listen to Hindi songs as kids. Somehow, they were bad influence. (Forget about Hindi literature, even hindi speaking populace of India avoid that for some reason.).

Another general trend in all the non-hindi speaking (= Hindi not first language) is that if you talk about Bollywood with them, they have a tendency to point out the actor/actresses/singers/music directors that belong to their particular region. They do acknowledge other actors/singers but the best one is always from their region. That celebrity will be their favorite too.

Few years back, I never thought about an actor as a south Indian or Bengali or anything. I simply liked them or disliked them. I liked Kajol as she is a great actress. I liked Rekha for her grace. I liked Sushmita for her personality. I don't understand why they are defined as a bong or southie? Does it even matter? All these people who feel so proud of these celebrities being associated with their region, do they think that if they went to these celebrities and told them that they belong to same region as them, these celebrities will treat them differently? If not, then whats the point of showing off?

I know people who actually followed Saurav Ganguly in Ranji trophy matches just because he is a bong or told me that Kishore Kumar is better than Mohammad Rafi because Kishore Kumar is a Bengali (though I am not sure that Kishore Kumar ever wanted to be known as one). It didn't have anything to do with his ability as a singer but the family he was born in. How is that fair? And then obviously, they have so much superior knowledge of music and such fine arts than poor us (Hindi-speaking population) that we should take their word for it, even though they have been listening to Bollywood music for only 4-5 years while we virtualy grew up on it. I am not sure what offends me more: the arrogance or the unfairness.

Unfortunately, these are the people who had chance to receive highest form of education but some how the education part of their studies skipped them. They are supposed to be more cultured than us (and thus their arrogance) but they forgot to learn about manners, decorum, honor and justice. They boast their unfairness instead of being ashamed of that. I simply can't comprehend which culture accepts that and how is that superior?

P.S.: I didn't mean to judge any community in this post. I am just rambling. I have some very good friends in each of these communities and I still don't like judging people based on the community they belong to. I strongly believe that every individual is different and whether I will get along with him/her depends on our compatibility rather than their place or family of birth.

August 31, 2008

Pervez Musharraf

Few days back I wrote that I don't much like Musharraf. A good friend asked me for the reasons. Vir Sanghavi has written my answer to that question, that is, if you are interested to know.


Well when you have four days off and you decide to pass the plan of driving to Las Vegas with friends to take a break (finally), you don't have much to do. So I watched few movies, read some books, browsed some internet, talked to some friends (okay, probably I shouldn't put this here as there are still friends I haven't called in ages),listened to some music and slept a lot. And still, I have a day left!!

Anyway, that wasn't point of this post. It was this slideshow about how to make killer blog (Browsing internet). Okay, I don't have any intention of killing any of you and hence I wasn't searching for anything like that. I was just browsing through the Technocrati's top 100 blogs when I found this. So I went through the slide show.

Well I have problem with a lot of these points as the presentation starts with "Blog because you want to" and jumps right into the marketing aspects and all those things. You know, link to other bloggers, interact, network, engage the commenters and all that (Ok they have a lot of other points too). You see if I was good in networking, interacting and all those things, I wouldn't need to blog and get an identity in virtual world. I would be happy in my real world! Moreover, if I blog because I want to why should I care whether someone reads it or not?

I agree if you create something you do want people to appreciate it but networking to increase traffic on your blog doesn't necessarily mean that they appreciate your work. They are either being polite or employing the same strategy as you are, i.e., read and comment on other people's blog.

For me blogging is a place to express myself, good or bad, right or wrong. People, in general, frustrates me and since my upbringing stops me to tell that on their face (and still people think I am too blunt/rude :( ) so I write it down here. And that's why people whom I interact on daily basis don't know that this blog exists.

P.S.: Don't worry. This isn't an assumed identity. I can't do that. I tried. Honestly. I tried writing under an assumed name but simply couldn't pursue it (there's a lot in the name especially when it's mine. I don't know about the rose). I need to be myself even though I don't want to be known.

What life's all about..

I was packing this weekend and found an old diary (probably from my late teen years). In the diary I found some old newspaper clippings. Its been a long time since I saw them. Among those clippings I found this beautiful poem (it's a long one though). It's by Shanaz Hussain:
Have you ever seen the autumn leaves turn from green to gold,
A carefree flower burning with flaming colours and exotic perfume
Burn and die in golden sunlight
That's what life is all about
With a smile on your lips and a prayer in your heart
If you truly love me, you'll set me free.

Have you ever seen the romantic scarred, dreamy moon,
As you walk alone on a moonlit night,
and its soft silvery glow invisibly bathes your body
You looked into his eyes and your secret world explodes,
He looked back into your soul and saw the naked truth,
Your eyes were the mirrors of your heart,
It made no sense, your life's first love
Then the dawn of truth smashing all fragments of reality, truth and dreams,
The lovelorn moon disappears behind dark menacing angry clouds
That's what life is all about
With a smile on your lips and a prayer in your heart
If you truly love me, you'll set me free.

Have you ever seen a silent volcano
Boiling with life as if the bowels of the Earth are in anguished turmoil,
Then the flaming sea of burning writhing emotions
Pouring down hill like the fires of hell,
Destroying everything that comes in its fiery path
That's what life is all about
With a smile on your lips and a prayer in your heart
If you truly love me, you'll set me free.

Have you ever seen the shell-pink dawn of life,
Followed by the flaming rising golden sun,
Then the magic turn from gold to silver,
The high noon of life where all material things must be acquired,
Then by the law of nature left behind,
Meteoric success achieved at lightning speed,
One golden minute studded with 60 diamond seconds,
No second chance given-for they are gone for ever,
It is sunset. The heavens are aflame,
As the ball of fires settles in the inviting velvet arms of the night
One beautiful life has just burnt out, another just born.
As the world watches dumbfounded,
For others a good life meant a 100 years,
She lived a complete life time with the rising and setting of the sun
That's what life is all about
With a smile on your lips and a prayer in your heart
If you truly love me, you'll set me free.

Have you ever thought of people who burn their candle at both ends
They know it's time to go, they will not last the night,
But as they burn themselves, they give a lovely light,
Leaving their footprints in the sands of time,
That's what life is all about
With a smile on your lips and a prayer in your heart
If you truly love me, you'll set me free.

Have you ever heard a Nightingale sing
In a cage struggling to escape every moment
Looking for a chance, of the tiny door left open,
It steals out, then realises its wings are clipped,
The world rejoices, it gt its freedom at last, but cannot fly,
It stumbles, falls, rises. its wings grow again,
Only to fly far far away, for ever and ever, never to return,
Lost in the expanseless horizon,
Just think, if you love something, set it free,
If it is yours, it will come back to you,
If it does not, it was never meant to be,
That's what life is all about
With a smile on your lips and a prayer in your heart
If you truly love me, you'll set me free.

Have you ever built sand castles by the sea side,
Each particle of golden sand another childhood dream
The sunlight sparkling on your desires etched in mud,
Then the engulfing massive emerald waves,
Gushes over you and your dreams, in moments are washed away,
The roaring waves recede-the sand is still there
Just you and your dream castles are washed away,
Swallowed and drowned, part of expanseless sea,
That's what life is all about
With a smile on your lips and a prayer in your heart
If you truly love me, you'll set me free.

Have you ever looked into a mirror,
You will see a face you know-
It's the one you love the most, in happiness and pain,
The reflection will always be there-
But then you look into it again, it is still you,
Or you think it is you-
It is not clear, you freeze with fright, you sweat, you tremble,
You wonder, "Why can't I see myself, the way the world sees me, the way I always did,
Is my reflection not me, I wish I could clearly see!
Is this the Will of God, if so, then let it be."
That's what life is all about
With a smile on your lips and a prayer in your heart
If you truly love me, you'll set me free.

Have you ever seen a pink lotus plant grow from the silt and mud,
Into a tiny sapling, then a tiny bud,
Then a stunning flower exuding beauty and fragrance,
The bees humming a sensuous tune around it,
You see it bloom, the glaring sunlight basking in its exotic glory,
Then it is night the lotus wilts and dies,
That's what life is all about
With a smile on your lips and a prayer in your heart
If you truly love me, you'll set me free.
Melancholic still beautiful, isn't it?

August 29, 2008

For now...

...this template will do. Its elegant. It has three column. And it somehow makes the posts look royal. I like that.

August 28, 2008

Its over..

..well almost. I did my final presentation. well sort of. I have to do another presentation on the final day of internship and write a report. But I am done with the work, mostly. I feel very relaxed now even though I am still too busy.

I went to Disneyland for the third time last weekend but I enjoyed being in Disney for the very first time. As they say it, you enjoy doing things with your friends rather than with random people you know (ok not that random they were my colleagues but still not equivalent to friends). I am not trying that out anytime soon. From now on, I will live in FRIENDS ONLY zone. Random people stay away. Trespassers will be prosecuted.

August 20, 2008

Life on snooze

I realize I have been writing a lot about current affairs lately. And I sound very frustrated/angry. The reason I usually don't like to read newspaper or listen to news. I can't read the news objectively and not get emotional about them. It just makes me angry.

Anyway, to steer the mood towards lighter side, I went Ph.D. Comics browsing and discovered the latest t-shirts there. Loved this one:

I told you so..

Its day one after President Musharraf stepped down and already Taliban is active. Hope they would realize it soon enough. Before Pakistan is under Taliban control. That would be a disaster for all of us.

P.S: My previous comments are here.


For some reason, we in India don't have a psychology of thinking the money spent by the govrnement/ bureaucrats/ministers as our money. Its government's money and government has unlimited amount of money and its ok for them to waste it. And that's why we never bother to stop and get angry at what our tax money is used for. That's right, if you work in India and pay taxes every March, you are paying for the fancy cars, air travels, parties and any such expenditure fancied by the politicians/bureaucrats. Your hard earned money. The money for which you worked the entire year.

Why am I talking about this, all of sudden? I just finished reading this editorial by Vir Sanghavi (one of my favorite columnist). The issue in the article is Kashmir. I have known for years that Kashmir enjoys a speical state status (Article 370) but have never stopped to think what it means till now. Here is what that means, in terms of your money:

Under Article 370 of our Constitution, with the exception of defence, foreign policy, and communication, no law enacted by parliament has any legitimacy in Kashmir unless the state government gives its consent. The state is the only one in India to have its own Constitution and the President of India cannot issue directions to the state government in exercise of the executive power of the Union as he can in every other state. Kashmiri are Indian citizens but Indians are not necessarily Kashmiri citizens. We cannot vote for elections to their assembly or own any property in Kashmir.

Then, there is the money. Bihar gets per capita central assistance of Rs 876 per year. Kashmir gets over ten times more: Rs 9,754 per year. While in Bihar and other states, this assistance is mainly in the forms of loans to the state, in Kashmir 90 per cent is an outright grant. Kashmir’s entire Five Year Plan expenditure is met by the Indian taxpayer. In addition, New Delhi keeps throwing more and more money at the state: in 2004, the Prime Minister gave Kashmir another $5 billion for development. (Its DOLLAR 5 billion and not Rupees. Imagine how much they have to increase the taxes or cut down on something more essential (parties and such expenditures are never cut down and you know that) to match that kind of expenditure.)


The other cost of Kashmir is military. Many terrorist acts, from the hijacking of IC 814 to the attack on parliament have Kashmir links. Our response to the parliament attack was Operation Parakram, which cost, in ten months, Rs 6,500 crore and 800 army lives? (Kargil cost us 474 lives.) Each day, our troops and paramilitary forces are subjected to terrorists's attacks, stress, and ridicule.

And all this for what? To be criticized by the world, to be preached human rights by Pakistan, and worst of all: to be condemened by Kashmiris themselves? I would rather have my tax money (though I don't pay taxes to Government of India anymore but figuratively speaking) invested in Bihar even though I know that major part of that will go to the pockets of corrupt ministers and bureaucrats but at least we won't be condemened for that.

P.S.: I hate paying taxes. Not because I have to give away my money but the way government uses it. In US, major part of my tax money is going to US defense to bully rest of the world or to social security to pay the homeless get their drugs. The worst part is that I don't even have a right to vote here even though I have duty of paying taxes. How is that fair? At least I should have a say in the way they use my hard earned money. And trust me, I work really hard for that.

August 19, 2008


And I thought thats our speciality. Isn't US supposed to be a secular state and thus is trying to "eradicate" fundamentalist groups from the world?

Reminds me of doha from Kabir (my favorite sufi-poet):

Bura jo dekhan main chala, bura na milya koi
Jo dil dhunde aapna mujhse bura na koi.

(When I tried finding "evil" in others, I couldn't find any.
When I searched my own heart, I found I am the worst of all.)

P.S.: Told you, I can't rhyme to save my life but I can sure appreciate poetry.

August 18, 2008


Pop-up quiz

Question 1: What does a beauty queen wants?
Answer: World peace and eradication of poverty from the world.

Question 2: What does a US president wants?
Answer: Resolve middle-east issues and establish democracy in the world.

Real question is: Does either of them really care about these issues? Or do they just want the crown?

Even more importantly: Can either of them actually resolve these issues? Do they have any authority to even attempt to resolve these issues?

The last few questions are subjective and don't have any right answers associated with them.

P.S.: I am fed up of the election campaigns. The ambigous stands on controversial topics, world peace speeches with no concrete plans: can we just get over them?


Another olympics. Another embarassing time of life. For past week I have been frequently asked by my colleagues about whether India has a team in Olympics and everytime I simply want to disappear. And like every Olympic season, there will be talks about pathetic condition of Indian sport in the newspapers and as soon as Olympics are over we all will go back to our lives. We will again tell our kids that sports are waste of time and they should concetrate on studies. They should become doctor or engineer.

Even though being an Indian is embarassing during Olympics, there is a bright spot for me this time. Its called Stanford Olympics team. Well its part of US team, of course but we do keep our own Medal count. So far we have got 3 golds, 1 silver and 3 bronze and still counting. Its far more medals than India have. Wish we did at least as good as Stanford. But alas! Its a daydream and will remain so forver.

Anyway, for now I can atleast say: GO CARDINAL.

P.S.: Stanford sports team is called Cardinal. And maroon is Stanford color. Just FYI.

August 16, 2008


Two months back I lost my wallet while visiting Stanford. I have been in Bakersfield since. I am in Stanford for the weekend and was going through my mails and guess what? Someone posted my wallet back! It doesn't have any cash in it, obviously. I think they used it to courier the wallet back to me (I think I had $20-$30 cash in the wallet). It has all my membership and gift cards (I blocked the credit cards and have received new ones already).

The return address on the label says Postmaster, Main Post Office so I don't know who to thank to. Keeping an id card with your mailing address in the wallet helps.

I am so glad that there are still people who are honest and go into all the trouble of sending things back to the rightful owner. They could have easily tossed it in the garbage bin but they took pains to send it back to me. I am touched. My sincerest thanks to stranger who went through the trouble of sending my wallet back.

P.S.: Its my favorite wallet too. I have been trying to buy a new one for two months but none of the wallet I saw were as good as this one. I am glad to have it back.