September 29, 2009

Tuesday Tag: Pictures

Okay. Am back with yet another tag. This time I borrowed it from Usha.

The rules are:
Answer the questions below and do a Google image search on your answer, Pick a picture from the results on the first page, with minimal explanation.

It looked interesting enough. Let’s see if it is fun. So here I go:

1. The age you will be in your next birthday.


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2. A place you’d like to travel to.


Okay. I cheated on this one. Instead of China, I put ‘Beautiful China’ in the search. But I have to put the reason why I want to be there in perspective. It’s breathtaking, isn’t it?

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3. Your Favorite place.


Yep. My university. My home (well sort of) for past 5 years.

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4. Your favorite food/drink

image image

It should be food and drink, no? Anyway, I have put both there.

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5. Your Favorite pet.

image Pleo. Geeky, I know. But he is no mess, no health issue pet.

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6. Your favorite color combination.

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7. Your favorite piece of clothing.


Skirts to be precise.

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8. Your all time favorite song.

image Song is: Dil ka bhanwar kare pukar.

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9. Your favorite TV show.

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10. Full name of your significant other.

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11. The town in which you live.


Mountain View, CA: The HQ of Google.

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12. Your screen name/nickname.

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13. Your First job.

image image

Okay, I broke the rule again. I love both these images so I am putting both.

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14. Your Dream job.

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15. Bad Habit you have.

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16. Your worst fear.

image Breaking my neck.

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17. The one thing you’ll like to do before you die.

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18. The first thing you’ll buy if you get $1,000,000.


Hasselblad. What else?

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Well that was fun! Feel free to borrow the tag if you like…


BTW. About last week’s tag, a friend asked what will do if I have twins? The answer: if I had girls, the name will be: Drishti (sight or vision) and Srishti (creation). Though I also like Dhvani and Drishti combo too. And if I had boys: Utsaah (enthusiasm) and Ullaas (joy). Again I also like Utsaah and Saahas (courage). Please don’t steal my baby’s names..

September 27, 2009

Pen Drive

So the story starts with me going to JC Penney. I haven’t been to the store for a long time now. In fact I haven’t bought a dress for myself for more than a year (gifted dresses are not included). But this fortunate day, I was having a bad day (hell, I am having a bad week). Anyway, I was running around finishing some errands and was getting nothing done for one reason or the other. So when I stopped by the shopping mall for yet another errand, I decided to visit JC Penney.

So I was wearing a pair of jeans and in the jeans pocket I had an 8GB pen drive. I spent around 3 hours in JC Penney, trying out new dresses (I didn’t buy anything that day: I am so proud of my self restraint). When I reached home, my pen drive was missing. My 8GB pen drive was missing! Did I mention I am having a bad week? I had almost no hope of finding it back but my room-mate suggested that I should go and check: Just in case someone returned it to Lost and Found.

So next day, I went back to JC Penney. After looping 2-3 times the store, I finally found the customer service center in a corner of the store (Get it, the center was in the corner? Okay it’s a stupid joke. I am shutting up now). I approached the lady on the counter. She wasn’t too old. I think she must be in her 50s. Anyway, I approached her and told her that I lost my 8GB Pen drive in the store the previous day. She looked up and asked, “What is a pen drive?”

I stared at her for a moment. The lady near to the counter peeped out ofimage her rack and gave me a smile. I strutted and tried different names for pen-drive but she remained clueless. I tried to explain how it is used with computer. Surely she must have seen it somewhere, I thought. But with no luck. Finally she asked me how it looked like? Well small rectangular thing, black in color.  It has a cap too. Its such a non-descriptive thing. How do I explain to someone who has never seen a pen-drive what it looks like? However, she checked her lost and found drawers and didn’t find any small rectangular black thingy. I didn’t expect it to be there, anyway. Didn’t I mention I am having a bad week?

…And then I went and bought 2 tops and a pair of shoes (running shoes: I needed those. Honestly).

September 24, 2009


As I near the end of my PhD and have started looking for a job (a difficult task in this economy), almost everyone has one question: Did you consider going back to India? And hence, I have been considering it a lot these days. So I have a lot of pros and cons for both staying abroad and going back. But I am not writing this post to enumerate them.

I am terrified to go back to India. And it’s not about politics, bad governance, corruption or any other number of problems we have. I am terrified of going back to India as I don’t harassment1think I can take those street Romeos and their wandering eyes and hands any more. I distinctly remember all those times when I was harassed on road by strangers. All the times when I was reduced to tears and thought that this is the punishment for the crime of being a woman. I cursed them: “May they be born as woman in India in their next life.” That was the worst curse I could think of! I would wear the baggiest cloths and try to look my worst possible so that I wouldn’t draw attention to myself.

In past five years in US, I have become comfortable being a woman. I am not sure I can go back to being penalized for being a victim again. I don’t think I can go back to India and curse my own existence every day again. For once, I don’t need to apologize for being a woman and I love it. Call me a spoilt NRI or a traitor or whatever you want, but I am not going back. I simply can’t.

September 21, 2009

Tuesday Tag

I have a lot to write but somehow words are not fitting together again. I write, I delete, I write again and delete again. So I decided to do a tag instead. I borrowed it from Nu’s blog. So here it goes:

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.
A five-thousand-rupee marriage was a big affair for Malgudi. 

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can & catch air?
What for?

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
House. Season 6 . Episode 1-2 (Today was the season premiere). BTW, if you are a House fan, then do watch them. they were crazy. I am looking forward to season 6 now.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is?
My Guess: 22 Hrs 03 mins 34 secs 67 milisecs. What? I am just guessing. It never said till how many decimal places..

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
22Hrs 09 mins.

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
My clock : tic-toc. tic-toc. tic- toc.
And my brain:  This is stupid. This is stupid. This is stupid.

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
2-3 hours ago to throw the garbage.

8. Before you started this Q&As, what did you look at?
My laptop screen. What? It’s shiny. I am easily distracted.

9. What are you wearing?
Capri and T-shirt. Why is this important?

10. When did you last laugh?
Today afternoon while teasing a friend who was already having a bad day. Yes I am that mean..

11. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Clock. White board. A painting. And a PhD comics Calendar of 2008 showing the page of December 2008 which contains an illustration of Mike Slackenerny in Santa’s lap telling him his Christmas wish: “I want to graduate.”. The calendar will remain there till I  graduate. (picture taken from my mobile camera) DSC00197

12. Seen anything weird lately?
Freshmen (and women) are here (Today was the first day of school). They walk with this serious looks on their face as if smiling is an offence in Stanford. My guess: They are still in shock that they got in Stanford and think they will be thrown out of Stanford if they smile. Honestly, I pity those poor kids.

13. What do you think of this quiz?
Do I have to answer this? Oh ok. It is great. Much better than writing a post as I don’t need to think. Happy now?

14. What is the last film you saw?
P.S. I love you. Yesterday.
I mean I saw the movie yesterday not that I loved you yesterday.

15. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?
Hasselblad H3DII-50 plus all the accessories necessary to open a photo studio. I mean just look at this baby. And then imagine a camera with 50MP resolution, a 36 X 48 mm sensor (twice the size of full frame sensor) among other things. Someday baby, someday…

16.Tell me something about you that I dunno!
You are a moron. What? You asked to tell something about ‘you’. So I did.

17. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Nothing. What? You want to spoil this wonderful wonderful world of ours? Really? And they call me a cynic, a pessimist and all that.

Okay, Okay.I was just trying to fit in with the optimistic crowd. Since you are not as optimistic as you look, let’s get started with the list…

Okay fine. Don’t panic. We will do it some other day.

18. Do you like to Dance?
Nope. I will flee from the scene.

19. Imagine your first child is a girl , what do you call her?
Dhvani. (It means sound).

20. Imagine your first child is a boy , what do you call him?
Pratham (meaning First). Actually, if my second child is boy again, his name will be Dvitiya (meaning second) and so on, till Dhvani is born.  

21. Would you ever consider living abroad?
I already live abroad. You should ask whether I want to go back.

22. What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
I am going to hell. So no pearly gates for me or at least no meeting the GOD (that is if he do exists). I can tell you what all I will call the Devil when I meet him. But then let’s leave it to your imagination..
So here endth the tagth. It’s free for all tag. So feel free to use it.
On another note. I have been dying to tell that I received my first ever Blog award from PB. Thanks, dear. :)

ILoveYourBlog award

This means I get the honor of presenting to some of my favorite blogs. So here it goes (in no particular order):
Rachna (update please)
Terri’s Mom
Viji (update please)

September 17, 2009


I am speechless. Honestly, do these people ever stop and think?

Okay, for those of you who are not aware of current US political scenario: Obama has been proposing a new health care reform. Okay, I need to step back even further.

Health care in US is very expensive so everyone needs to have a health insurance in order to cover for the cost. However, these insurances aren’t foolproof. A lot of people can’t afford them. Some are denied the coverage if they end up with something expensive. So Obama is proposing a health care reform in order to rectify few of these issues. Honestly, I am cynical about the reforms (mostly due to the way it works in UK) but I am not vehemently opposed to them.

So these people (mostly Republicans. Just FYI: Obama is a Democrat.) marched to Washington, D.C. opposing the reform which is perfectly fine. However, just listen to them and you would understand that they have no idea what-so-ever about what is going on in the current political scene ( I know it better than them and I don’t even have a right to vote!!). They are simply there to oppose Obama no matter what he do.

Also note the absence of any African American or any other ethnicity in the crowd (just not the people who were interviewed but the crowd behind them). They all are, forgive me, Whites. I know it’s a racist statement but it also happens to be true. It makes me wonder what this tea party was really about?

P.S.: 1. I am sure, I am late in posting this but I didn’t see the video before and as I am not a big fan of reform myself, I didn’t bother follow it up either.

2. Just to clarify: Ronald Reagan, Bush were Republicans (in reference to Czar debate) while Obama is a Democrat.

3. Most of them reminds me of Sarah Palin (Republican again). Actually, after watching this video, I finally understood how and why Sarah Palin could have become Governor of any state and could get nomination for Vice President. Bobby Jindal, however, still remains a mystery.

(Link via Jeff)

September 14, 2009

The Blind Dog


Oscar Wilde has been my favorite author for a long time now. I remember going through my Gulmohar English textbook (C.B.S.E. Board) to find him and reading those stories first. I liked his writing style specially the way he ended his stories with a twist, usually very dark but still a twist. Out of all his stories I have read, the one that impressed me the most was ‘The Nightingale and The Rose’  (click to read the story). I cried buckets when I first read it.

Today, I read yet another heart-breaking story with an ironic ending just like ‘The Nightingale and The Rose’. The story is by R.K. Narayan and it’s called ‘The Blind Dog’ (click to read the story). The story is from his famous book Malgudi Days. Remember, the good old Doordarshan days when serials were telecasted at 9 PM? Remember Swami and his friends from Malgudi days? Based on those memories, I took up the book for a light reading but R.K. Narayan writing style is so much in kin with Oscar Wilde that it is turning into some pretty heavy reading. I have read 5 stories so far: An Astrologer’s Day, The Missing Mail, The Doctor’s Word, Gateman’s Gift  and The Blind Dog. They have increasingly become murkier and the last one, The Blind Dog, was the darkest so far. I don’t have any emotional strength left to go on now. I still have 27 stories left. God have mercy on my poor soul…

P.S.: 1. BTW, did you know the famous movie Guide (Dev Anand’s) was based on R. K. Narayan’s novel The Guide? Remember the ironic, sad ending of the movie?

2. I wonder why I don’t remember reading any of the R.K. Narayan’s stories in our English textbook. Is it just me or we didn’t have any of his stories in our school textbooks?

*Credit: Image from-

September 12, 2009

Logically incorrect

Most probably, you have seen this jpg in one way or the other. It was in circulation few years back and made way to my inbox too. It’s about how to prove that Girls are evil. Read on:

Girls are evil

I have debated (with my own self, of course) a lot about writing this post. I don’t consider myself feminist. I don’t like generalizing things. I think every person is different in their own way and hence there is no point judging them as a group.

This particular piece, however, intrigued the mathematician in me and hence I have to point out the flaw in this line of reasoning. My problem lies in the first line of the proof that states:

Girls require time and money.

This statement implies that Girls don’t have Time and Money as Girls require them. The statement also implies that Boys, on the other hand, have Time and Money as Boys give Time and Money to Girls when Girls require them. Now my reasoning tells me that someone who has the Time and Money (namely Boys) is more liable for the above arguments than someone who requires them (namely Girls). Hence following the above logic, we will be forced to conclude that:

Boys  = Evil

Comments, anyone?

P.S.: The comments like ‘Genius’, ‘Brilliant’, ‘Ingenious’ etc. are also welcome. To hell with humbleness. ;)

September 9, 2009

Snow white

“Mirror, mirror on the wall; Who is the fairest of them all?”

I remember these lines from the play performed in our school’s annual function when I was in 6th grade. I didn’t make the cast owing to my skin tone. Two of the fairest girls in our school were chosen to be the the Step mother and Snow white. That was the first time I questioned the story of Snow White. What is the moral of the story? When I first heard the story, I was told the moral of story as “Beauty is not skin deep” apart from the usual “Good triumphs evil”.

As I watched the rehearsals and finally the play (I was, like any 11 year old girl, fascinated by the fairy tale princesses), I realized that they never refer to ‘beauty’. They snowwhite_03_1024don’t ask who is the prettiest of all, instead they ask who is the fairest of all. Is fair a synonym of beauty? How the moral of story can be “Beauty is not skin deep” when all they consider is fairness of skin?

The moral “Beauty is not skin deep” would have made sense if Snow white wasn’t the fairest maiden in the land but still was more popular (as she was kind and nice) than her Step mother. This in turn could have made the Step mother jealous and hence the rest of the story.

But then I have a personal issues against the story and hence wants it changed.

September 8, 2009

The office monster


This is the vent on our office roof. He watches over us all the time. As easily distracted as I am, I spend a lot of time staring at him (gives me a thoughtful look, which works in my favor) .

I find him very cute. It’s like having a friend at all time though he doesn’t talk much. Our silent conversation usually ends up on this blog. Hence I thought I should introduce him to y’all and give the credit where it belongs. So here it is, ladies and gentlemen, my friend and companion, the office monster.

September 6, 2009

Field notes …

… of Dr. A.V. Ramani. She is a doctor who has worked for many years in rural MP. rural1Orissa  and Chattisgarh. She just started a blog.

Her posts are about everyday life in rural India: the debts, the delay in Monsoon, the immigration to cities, the lack of health care. An entirely different world then ours. At times it sounds almost like fiction. But like it or not, they are real and very much part of the country we belong to. It hurts to even admit  that. I wish I could do something to help…

Do visit her blog, her field notes to gain some perspective about rural India and problems faced by people there. 

Link via Dilip D’souza.

September 5, 2009

The Alchemist


By Paulo Coelho

A modern classic, an international best seller, a fable about following your dreams – are few of various names by which this book has been referred to. I finally got my hand on the book. I was surprised by the thickness of the book. It jhave mere 177 pages for a book that has been translated into 67 languages and hence holds the Guinness World record for most translated book by a living author. I checked if by mistake I was given an abridged version but as it turns out, it just has 177 pages. 

Second surprise came by the simplicity of the language used. Even a 10 year old can read the book without difficulty. May be that’s why they call it a fable. And yes that’s what the book is: A fable about following one’s dream.

The book is full of pure optimism, faith, first-sight-love, destiny, omen and dreams. Being a hard core cynic, I scoffed and sneered the entire time. And obviously (given the optimistic tone of the book) there is a religious undertone in the book which made me scoff even more.

In a nutshell, its a cute little story for those of you who are hard-core-optimist. It failed to make much impression on me. May be I am far too a realist to be awed by foolhardy optimism.

September 3, 2009



The image is from English Whirled Wide facebook page. The page has a collection of funny pics from India, China, Middle East, US and UK. I simply couldn’t resist posting this one. This one is an Indian Highway safety sign.

Indian road management cracks me up whenever I am there (in India). I also love the trucks and vans with their rhyming funny messages. It usually puts a smile on the face…something I love and miss about India.

September 2, 2009

Gandhi and Bose

I am a great believer of non-violence and I am a great admirer of Mahatma Gandhi. Ever since the school time, I have been mocked for this opinion. And for some unknown reason people simple don’t want to listen my reason. At times I think they have been waiting for someone to say that so that they all can jump on him/her and start telling that person off for such an opinion and declare how great Subhash Chandra Bose was. How did British leave India because of him? And it’s always him as most of others “freedom fighters” as Bhagat Singh or Chandrashekhar Azad died way before India gained independence while Bose mysterious disappearance happened right around that time.

I am not entirely sure if any of them ever opened a history book in their life (at least that’s what I hope). I think it’s more fashionable to admire Bose instead of Gandhi. And please before you start on issue of Gandhi’s affairs or Indian partition, let me state that my admiration of Gandhi is solely based on his political shrewdness and economic sense. I don’t consider him as Mahatama or a spiritual leader of any kind. He was a great politician but he was human and had his own faults. But at least he didn’t make alliances with Nazi unlike Subhash Chandra Bose.

Honestly, all of those people who praise Bose and think that he had the right ideas, do they know that Bose made an alliance with Nazi (as in Hitler) during World War II? Just imagine if the outcome of the war wasn’t the way it turned out to be. Do they really think India would have been independent? Do they remember Hitler? The one who created all those concentration camps and imprisoned men, women and children? Do they really think that he would have treated Indians as equals? Honestly?

Despite all his flaws (including his partiality towards Nehru), at least Gandhi had a brain on his shoulder and a heart that was in right place. I thank my stars (or rather stars of Indian luck or something like that) that Bose’s plane crashed when it did and Germany was defeated as it did.

But who can tell all this to the fanatics who starts jumping up and down every time they hear that someone actually admires Gandhi and believes in non-violence?