December 31, 2010


Dearest 2010

You have been very nice to me and I want to thank you. You are one of the most special years in my life. During your reign, I finally fulfilled my long time (in fact, longest time) dream of earning a PhD. Ever since I came to know about PhD (at the age of three) accompanied by the fact that my Dad already had one, I dreamt of earning one. However, during the course of my journey to PhD, I almost quit the voyage. during those dark times I thought I will never fulfill this dream. So you see, I will always treasure you as the year I fulfilled my dream and finally, finally, earned my PhD. I will be always grateful to you for that.

I know not many people will thank you as your reign also saw a bad economic recession and a high unemployment rate, so it becomes even more important for me to remind you that not all of us hate you. I will always remember and cherish you.

Sincerely yours


My vote

Asian Window is asking me to choose between Munni or Sheila for the favourite item number.



After watching both the videos I have decided to vote for Waka Waka instead. Mind you, I am not a big fan of Western music but if you are looking for the item number of 2010, I think Shakira in Waka Waka takes the prize. Don’t you think? I mean just watch her move (for whatever small time window she does move).

Waka Waka

December 27, 2010

A Christmas Story

Oh yes, the apologies first. I disappeared but guess what, I had a great Christmas weekend. Even you can’t make me feel guilty at the moment so stop trying.

What did I do for Christmas, you ask? Well I went to Baton Rouge and New Orleans (both in state of Louisiana) to visit my best friend and her family. Before I plunge into my ramblings, I should tell you that she and her family are originally from New Orleans, actually they are from the area that was destroyed by hurricane Katrina in 2005. The neighborhood still bears the mark of that catastrophe, so does their family. Oh yes, also they are not Indian. None of this is important for my rambling but a little background doesn’t hurt, does it? Specially when it hung over my conscious (hurricane Katrina, not the Indian part).

The best part of the Christmas was, of course, the kids (her two daughters) and their excitement on the Christmas morning. The second best thing was meeting her extended family. If you have seen the movie ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ you might have some idea what I am talking about. If not, then may be you have seen a big family gathered together during a wedding or some other ceremony. As for me, they reminded me of my Nani’s (maternal grandmother) house as it used to be when we were kids. All the chattering, screaming, gossiping, joking and teasing, along with lots and lots of food.

We reached there at meal time (I can’t tell you whether it was dinner or lunch, just that we ate). And as I have seen time and again in our own India, all the women were in kitchen, heating everything up, serving the plates for kids, elderly and men, while the rest of them (kids, elderly and men) sat around, chatted, joked and laughed. Finally, women also sat down and ate.

The surprise came after the meal. Now there were men all around, cleaning up, taking out the trash, brooming and sweeping, disinfecting, folding tables, cleaning dishes while women sat around, chatted, joked and laughed. All of this was automatic. As if it was the most natural thing. As if it wasn’t a big deal. That was only thing that made me realize that this was an entirely different culture. Wish we had that in our family.

The worst part of this Christmas was, of course, saying goodbyes on Sunday and the drive back. The second worst thing, well I wouldn’t call it bad, just disturbing: for the first time in my life I met someone with Alzheimer's disease. A sweet, old lady, and soft spoken too, except she was not making any sense. She had no idea what any of us were talking about, though she wanted to participate in the conversation. But as she couldn’t make head or tails of our conversation, she became progressively agitated and confused. It was pretty sad but there was nothing any of us could do to help her. Honestly, if this ever happens to me, I would prefer euthanasia. I know medically you are alive till your heart beats but personally I believe that life ends when brain ends. What’s the point of life when you are not you anymore? That reminds me, I have to get a living will done. Perhaps, I will put it in 2011 resolution list.

All in all, it was a great weekend. It was worth 12 hours of driving with shoulder pain and bad traffic.
Hope you guys had a great Christmas as well.

P.S.: I hope this post covers for my absence for past few days. It is a long post, after all.

December 23, 2010


I knew it will come to that one day though I confess I didn’t think it will be now. What am I talking about? The internet addiction recovery program. I kid you not. There is now a company, reSTART, that offer rehabilitation program for internet addiction. I checked the common symptoms and it seems I am not addicted or may be I am in denial. How about you?

P.S.: Been sick for past two days and hence no post. Going to Louisiana for Christmas so most probably won’t be able to post again. Not sure how much internet connectivity will I have. So if you don’t hear from me: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

December 20, 2010

Stuck in my head…

…and my iPod. I usually have problem moving to other song once my iPod reached this song. So I had it on repeat for the whole day. Even though I haven’t heard it for past few hours now, I still can’t stop humming it. Needless to say, I am absolutely in love with this song. Although you have to stop watching the video to enjoy this song completely..

Do you have any such song that you simply can’t let go off?

December 19, 2010

The Zoo

Ever since I moved to Texas, I haven’t gone out to take pictures. Yesterday I broke that spell and went to the zoo. Well, they (the zoo) had their first “photography day” yesterday. Unfortunately for us, the weather wasn’t very cooperative yesterday. It was freezing out there and hence almost all the animals were quite inactive. The cloudy morning was yet another drawback. Still I did manage to get some nice shots (at least I like them). Here are few, the ones I have manage to post process so far. Let me know what you think:


Title: Playful



Title: Watchful



Title: Camouflage

Will post on my photoblog, that is if you are interested.

December 18, 2010

December 17, 2010

Sexism in Advertisement

I was browsing around when I came across this one:

What do you think?

December 16, 2010

Burned or Buried?

Well the actual question was:

“What do you think happens after we die?”

But my thought train took a wrong turn and I instead ended up thinking about funeral costs and funeral services and such nonsense. But during all this thought process I realize how unique background I come from. Most of the world, that is most of cultures around the world, bury their dead while our culture, or more precisely Hinduism, insist on burning them.

Before you jump the gun and start defending either method, I am not writing this post to discuss the philosophy or religion. I am just wondering that if given a choice, would you liked to be buried or burned after death? Would you like to have a grave site which your loved ones can visit  and grieve, miss you and carry out imaginary conversations; or would you like to be burned and have your ashes thrown in a river so that they can, or rather should, move on with their lives?

The first answer that pops in my head is obviously, being cremated. But that’s simply because I don’t want my loved ones to grieve for me. Actually I don’t want my loved ones to grieve. Period. Its worse if I am the reason. But does my desire of them moving on, really help with their grief? Isn’t it equivalent of me telling them to internalize their pain and pretend to be normal and happy? Is that what I really want? But does having a place to grieve and remember help them with the grieving process? I think so.

My favorite uncle passed away an year and half ago. I didn’t attend his funeral. Hell, I was told 2 days after his funeral. I cried, I grieved, I felt awful but I didn’t find closure. He was a photographer and I bought a D-SLR camera for him as a surprise gift. I never told him that. He never knew about the camera. He would have loved it. I still have that feeling of unfinished business. I don’t have closure. I never got to say goodbye and I really wish there was a grave, a place where I could go, pay my respects and say goodbye.

What do you think? Do you want to be burned or buried? As for me, I think I would like all my loved ones to be buried so that I can go there and be with them but I should be cremated. Sounds selfish, isn’t it? May be a bit hypocritical too but I really don’t want them to cry for me.

Just a thought train…

December 15, 2010

Laser Light Painting

I got my new green laser pointer today. What did I do? I did this:




How I did it? Well, the procedure is described here. People do amazing stuff with laser pointers. May be some day, I will do something cool like that but this was my first attempt. You know, first experiments. These simply show the enthusiasm of getting a new toy to play with…

December 14, 2010

Give a damn

Pardon my language, but that’s the name of this campaign: we give a damn. It’s about workplace discrimination, hate crimes, bullying at school, suicide and such issues faced by gay community. They have a heap of advertisements but I particularly like this one:

Give a Damn

They are adorable.

And yes, I give a damn, if you pardon my language. Hope you do too…

Link via Joe my God

December 13, 2010


“Where are you from?”

That was the first thing she asked me. I was putting my bag down in the seat next to her. She was wearing a pair of jeans and a long kurta. So yes, that was the first thing I registered about her: she is Indian or rather, from Indian subcontinent, but I didn’t expect the question. The first thing, even before a courtesy smile, even before our eyes met. I wasn’t even looking at her. I didn’t or rather couldn’t respond immediately, instead I looked at her and she repeated the question:

“Where are you from?”



She was taken aback. A moment later she added:

“I am from Pakistan.”

I gave her a small smile not because it made a difference to me but because it did to her. After a moment’s pause, she sprung the next question:

“Are you a Geologist?”

“No, Geophysicist.”

Now she was completely disappointed. I made an excuse and walked outside knowing full well that I will be sitting next to her for next five days. Isn’t life peachy?

P.S.: 1. In her defense, I later learnt that this is her first time outside Pakistan, so I think her shock of meeting a person from India is understandable, however, boat2that doesn’t excuse her reaction to me being a geophysicist. Neither does it excuse her rudeness.

2. The difference between Geology and Geophysics is similar to the difference between Biology and Physics: they both fall under the subset of science, however they are very different from each other. More importantly, people who excel in one doesn’t usually excel in the other.

3. I am in a class this week (today was the first day. That’s where I met her). When I was three, my mom told me that Ph.D. is the highest degree one can earn and once you get that, you don’t have to go to classes anymore. She was so wrong.

December 12, 2010

One liners


  • My computer just beat me at chess…but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
  • Slept like a baby last night…. Waking up every 3 hours crying for food.
  • One day your prince will come. Mine just took a wrong turn, got lost and is too stubborn to ask for directions.
  • Dance like no one’s going to put it on YouTube.
  • Every day, man is making bigger and better fool-proof things, and every day, nature is making bigger and better fools. So far, I think nature is winning.
  • I want to merge MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and call it: MY FACE YOU TWIT.
  • Don’t you find it funny that after Monday(M) and Tuesday(T), the rest of the week says WTF?
  • I dream of a better world...where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.
  • If your relationship status says, "It's complicated", then you should stop kidding yourself and change it to "Single".
  • Be nice to nerds, chances are you will be working for them.
  • Have you ever had a fly or small bug land on your computer screen and your first reaction is to try and scare it with the cursor?
  • Hi, my name is Damimeve. The 'mime' is silent.
  • Do you know what really makes me smile? Facial muscles.
  • I hear there is scientific proof that birthdays are good for you... the more you have the longer you live.
  • I just read a list of 'the 100 things to do before you die'. I'm pretty surprised 'yell for help' wasn't one of them...
  • TEIAM - problem solved.
  • Top Tip Of The Week: When going through airport customs and you are asked "do you have any firearms with you?" do not reply "what do you need?"

Source: Link1, Link 2.

December 11, 2010

December 9, 2010

Left vs. right?

So I was filling out the form to renew my passport. Answered all questions to best of my knowledge and, of course, I finally reached the end of the form where they ask to sign the declaration. You know where they ask you to swear the allegiance to India. At the end of all that declaration they ask you to sign or put your thumb expression. And right below that there was a statement in parentheses which is the reason for this post. It says:

Signature/ Thumb Impression of applicant

(Left Hand T.I. if male and right Hand T.I. if female)

Left hand for male and right hand for female? Why is that? I tried googling it and there are some very ridiculous explanation from “because those are the ones most used by each gender” (Really? Are they telling me that all the males are left handed and all the females right handed?) to “It is a government rule. Rules are rules. Can’t change it”.

Not a single proper reason why is that so. Does any one know? And how do they know if the thumb print is right hand’s or left hand’s?  I know its not a big deal and it doesn’t matter, I am just curious. 

P.S.: Yes I signed my allegiance to the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India. Hopefully they will reissue my passport soon enough.

December 8, 2010

Something Nice

This post is inspired by PB’s post, Passport-Photobia.

So last Saturday I went to get my passport photo taken for getting my Indian passport renewed. My first stop was Walgreens who refused to take the photo as they supposedly can’t change the dimension of photo in their system (in California they did!) but they pointed me to a place where they do. You know, the place by the cemetery. I kid you not, the gates of cemetery and this “place” are almost adjacent. The reason I use the term place instead of studio is because it is a house (quite creepy, if I might add) and not a studio. You actually need to ring a bell and wait for someone to open the door.

Anyway, so finally it was time for me to get my picture taken. And here is the verbatim instructions from the photographer:

“Don’t smile but think about something nice.”

“Sit up straight and think about something nice.”

“Look at the camera while thinking about something nice.”

At this point I wanted to tell him that if he introduce me to Mr. Something Nice, it will be easier for me to think about him. As soon as this thought popped up in my head I almost smiled. However, unfortunately, I had a pretty bad mouth ulcer that day so the moment I started smiling, I winced and precisely at that moment the camera clicked. He took one look at the shot and went again:

“Think about something nice again. We will take 3 photos and then choose one. So look at the camera while thinking about something nice.”

Which resulted in some more wincing on my part. It took 10 minutes and I think about 15 shots before we could get a decent shot. With the amount of pain I endured in the process I am sure I have become passport-photobic. At least, I have been scarred for a long long time.

December 7, 2010

Is it just me?

Somedays I am okay. I am confortable, even confident, in my own skin. Then other days I loose all that. The funny statement that sounds funny in my head, doesn’t come out right and loose their pun in the process. My confidence level plummets and I just can’t carry myself well in the social circle on those days.

It usually happens when I among strangers or in some hostile situation but at times it is simply associated with my mood or simply the stress level in my life. I know all those things does affect one’s personality but does everyone else get affected like I do? Or is there something wrong with me? Do I overreact to stress and need a better way to manage my stress level? Or do I simply overanalyze my actions? Does anyone else faces this problem or is it just me?

P.S.: You guessed it. Last two days have been such two days. Hopefully it will get better with coming days.

December 6, 2010

December 5, 2010

Cultural Shock

Its been three months since I left my beloved California, or more precisely the bay area, and moved to Texas and yet, the cultural shock hasn’t worn off yet.

Like the other day, I was in Ikea and walked in a family arguing in one section. As I entered, they left except a man and a teenage girl who were still arguing. My back was towards them and all of sudden I heard a bang. I turned around to see the girl getting herself away from the walI while her arm was still twisted at the back. Before I could recover from shock they were gone. I can not forget the look on that girl’s face.

Then it happened again when I went to a Toyota dealership to get an oil changed for my car. I was sitting in the waiting area with other customers when I heard someone shout “F-A-G”, followed by some laughter. I looked up to see a group of employee (most probably car-salesmen) climbing down from the second floor to our floor, looking smug as if they just cracked the best joke ever. (I felt sick in stomach)

Never in my six years in the bay area have I encountered any thing that was even close. Now it seems like a daily occurrence. Did I mention I hate Texas?

December 4, 2010

Saturday Shots: Sunrise

                                                                                                                            (Click to enlarge)
Title: Scenic
Location: Lake Tahoe, CA
Date: 2008

December 3, 2010

Today’s Prompt…


If you could erase one type of animal from the face of the earth, what would it be?

The first one on my list is human beings. How about you?

P.S.: 1. Do I need to explain the reasons for my choice?

2. Please don’t say cockroaches.

December 2, 2010

I have got issues

Dear fancy/sports car driver/owner

I understand that your expensive car comes with a powerful engine, great traction, amazing brakes. However, when you are trying to show off your car’s great capabilities to the rest of us by changing lanes at will and trying to squeeze in tight spots while cutting me off, you forget that unlike your car, my car or the car in front of you doesn’t have those powerful engines, amazing breaks, or great traction. So, you see even if your car can go from 0 to 100 mph and vice-versa in whatever seconds, my car or car in front of you can’t do that. Hence, there is a great chance that you will be in an accident and worse, you will hurt people like us when you have that accident.

And if by some miracle I am not hurt, I promise you I will cause you a lot more pain than those scratches on your car. Trust me on that.

Sincerely yours,

December 1, 2010

I am doing it

NaBloPoMo, I mean. Whether I will succeed or not is yet to be seen.

I just spent two hours (at work) to get the documents sorted for applying for renewal of my passport (still Indian). Have I ever mentioned how much I hate paperwork associated with visa, passports and such things? Well, now you know. This, by far, is the worst one yet. For example, they have written in their instructions and FAQ that I need to attach three 3.5 cm x 3.5 cm passport size photograph. And when I printed out the form, it says 2" x 2" photograph. Can someone tell me which size photograph should I take? (I know both, just in case). I am utterly and completely frustrated at the moment. I hate paperwork.

Anyhoo, coming back to the NaBloPoMo. As usual, they have a writing prompt and today's writing prompt that says:

If you could stop your body from aging at any point in your life, what age would you want to stay at and why?

Really? I mean, I have always been told that I look young for my age. People usually don't believe when I tell them my age.  I can enlist the disadvantages of looking younger than you are (people doubting your "wisdom" is the most prominent one). Do you really think I want to look even younger than I am at any point in my life? I really doubt that. So I guess my answer would be: Thank you but no, thank you.

How about you? Do you want to stop your aging process?

November 29, 2010


…I will own a Hasselblad.

…I won’t have all these back pains, shoulder pains and leg pains.

…I will be able travel anywhere I want and carry my camera and my tripod on my back without problem.

…I will be able to take beautiful pictures.


Yes I am currently obsessed with taking pictures but haven’t been able to take my camera for a ride for past three months. It has to come out somewhere and hence, the post.

P.S.: 2010 has been bad for the blog, though it was a pretty cool year otherwise (I graduated), so I am thinking about doing NaBloPoMo for December. We will see how things goes though. I can’t promise anything yet…

November 19, 2010

My poor name…

If you have been around this blog-space you already know this, but if you haven’t then you should know this about me: I absolutely love my name. Also that I have only one name: Richa. No family name/surname/second or middle name. Just one name: Richa. Sweet and simple.

Now my question is: how hard is it to pronounce a five letter name? Ri-cha. Honestly? Yet, people insist on mangling, mutilating, and murdering my name. I mean its hard enough to live in this world with only one name (really, what’s the big deal? Why do every one has to ask me why I have only one name and most of the times, presume something about my culture or my family?), people insist in sabotaging that poor name as well. And its not that hard. Its very similar to a very popular name: Richard. They don’t call any Richard. ri-ka-rd, or Ree-chaard (with a long ee), or Ray-chard so why do they insist on calling me Ri-ka, or Ree-cha, or Ray-cha?

And the worst part of it? I have gotten so used to these awful pronunciations now that I actually respond to them. If some one calls out for a Ri-ka, I know they are calling for me. I have even stopped correcting them now even though my insides still cringe whenever people insist on calling me Rika or worse, “Rika Rika”.

P.S.: 1. I know, I know, I am not the only one. All of us have had their names mutilated some time or the other. Just some times it gets me, especially if I am already having a bad day and then some one insist on calling me Rika Rika during the entire conversation (yes every time they have to call me Ms Rika Rika, not just Rika or Ms Rika) while trying to solve my problem which, as it turns out, they don’t have authority to solve in the first place (something I have been trying to tell them from the start, I must add).

All I can say, I have a very limited supply of patience. Its not even sold in any store I know of.

2. My tip: if you don’t know the pronunciation of someone’s name, ask them instead of mispronouncing it (especially if you work in service industry as IT support or call center). No one minds telling you the correct pronunciation of their own name. Most of us are fairly happy doing it.

November 18, 2010


…comes in many forms and shapes. You are trying to avoid eating junk, and voila, you are in a class where instructor gives candies for good discussions in class. Those candies sit on your table while your sole distractions are the power point slides in front. How long do you think you can resist not eating them? Even if you absolutely hate chocolate, the sugar will tempt you.

Then there is temptation and charm of free food. You might resist the temptation of buying a candy but when its given to you, well, its harder to resist.

Why participate in discussions, you ask? Well, that’s yet another kind of temptation. And when the instructor is so positive and encouraging about having those discussions, its hard to get around them. You don’t even remember the candy until things have gotten out of hand and you have yet another candy in your hand.

I am fighting and loosing miserably to all kinds of temptations these days. Can someone please send me an ounce of will-power?

November 6, 2010

October 26, 2010

The past week

- My eyes have been twitching for a week now. Oh well, not constantly. It comes and goes. But its really annoying. Even more annoying is the fact that every time I mention it to someone (Indian), the first question they ask: “Which eye? Because, you see, if its your left eye it’s a good omen and if its your right eye it’s a bad omen.” And since its my left eye, I am told not to worry about it! Honestly?

- I called up my medical insurance company to ask about the date from which I have coverage. Since October 4th they tell me, but as they have not yet send me my medical insurance card I can’t visit a doctor (unless I want to pay). What’s the point of having a coverage which I can’t use, if I may ask?

- I, now, have a personal trainer, who did a fitness assessment recently to find that I am fat. I mean, my body fat is a whopping 23%. So I am given an exercise routine to reduce that fat and gain muscles. All I can say: my body isn’t too happy at the moment. The fat that they are trying to turn into muscle is protesting vehemently and causing me a lot of pain. Why don’t muscles protest that way when they get converted back to fat due to lack of exercise?

- When I was three, I was told that PhD is the highest degree you can earn (I asked because my dad is a PhD and I wanted to know what that means) and you don’t have to attend any classes after that. Well, you know what, it’s a big fat LIE. PhD may be the highest degree you can earn but you never stop taking classes if you earn that degree. Trust me. I am already registered for 3 classes (a week long classes) in next two months!

- I finally finished the first series of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Started the second series only to realize that only the first book of the second series has been written so far. And as luck have it: the second series is much better than the first series. The first series is all about Percy Jackson whining all the time, the second series has some better characters and has far more interesting plot line. So far. Again, I am not recommending it. Its no where near Harry Potter (that is, if you are a fan) but still is better than the Twilight series (again if you are a “fan”). I am, now, mildly anticipating the release of the second book next summer. Again you won’t find me standing in the queue at midnight (unlike Harry Potter), but I am kind of interested in knowing what happens next. So I will buy the book fairly early. (I am just a big sucker for magic world and mythologies. And it provides both.)


Am not complaining or anything, just talking aloud. Life is peachy. I am just trying to adjust to its peachiness.

P.S.: Read this on FB (via a friend): “One Day Santa was feeling Happy...After some time Happy got up and walked away.” 

Took me 5 minutes to understand it.

Just another useless piece of information that you don’t care about or need to know.

October 25, 2010

Lucky me

You know how it goes. You take things for granted unless you realize that you were privileged to have those things. For example, I recently realize that not everyone growing up had a gang of neighborhood kids to play with. Neither did they have a playground like I did when I was growing up. And here I was sympathizing with the new generation kids who sit at the home in the evening instead of playing outside. But when their parents also didn't identify with my childhood memories, I realized how lucky I have been to have such memories and such times. 

The evening started with the bell ringing at precisely 4:30 in winters and 6:00 in summers followed by the games of hide and seek, pithoo, king and queen, chain, vish-amrit which were followed by those twilight times ghost/scary stories. Did you know the only way you can identify a ghost is by their feet because they are backwards? Or that the people who kidnap children amputates them and make them beg by the bridge over the canal that ran through our town? Then there were the swimming lessons that all of us joined together: scared and excited to be in water but together. Exploring the military cantonment area on our bikes, getting scared by the guards and finding a route so that we don't have to cross them. Organizing the Republic day function on our roof-top every year (that's how we utilized our winter break), make a temporary stage with saris, arranging chairs, coming up with dance routines, jokes, trivia to entertain our parents (who else would come to see us perform). we once spent entire winter break making cards and put it on the sale. needless to say that we didn't make a profit but it was fun.

Oh ok, I got a bit nostalgic back there, but the point being, I think I had been very lucky to have such great memories and such a nice time while growing up and realizing that not everyone in my generation had similar memories of fun times makes me realize that it was even more special. 

Hopefully you guys also had similar memories growing up. If not, then I am curious about what you did for fun?

October 18, 2010


are the hardest. After six years of being in grad school and having this nagging voice (which oddly resembles my mom's voice. Sorry mom.) at back of your brain at all the time, enumerating all the pending tasks, its hard to adjust to a weekend without a to-do list and that nagging voice. You know except the usual laundry and cleaning the house. So what do you do on a weekend when you are no longer a grad student? Really?

So far I have been reading the Percy Jackson series (you haven't checked out my latest "currently reading" section, have you?) but I will be running out of those very soon. True I can start reading something else but its so not me. I get bored very easily with any one activity and need to distract myself with something else (thats why I have so many hobbies: reading, photography, sketching, blogging, martial arts etc). May be I have an ADHD: may be I am also a demigod (sorry, a Percy Jackson series joke. If you have read them you will understand, if not, then never mind. Won't recommend them. I just wanted something silly to read at the moment so picked that series up).

But even with my numerous hobbies and pass times, I don't think I can keep myself busy through the weekends (seriously, you can't sketch or blog the whole day, can you?). So what am I supposed to do with all this extra time I have now? Somebody help...

October 16, 2010

Saturday Shots: Thinker

The trend in blogging world is to post a picture on Wednesday as “Wordless Wednesday” which is well and good. However, considering my writing pattern of writing more post during the weekdays than weekends as well as the drop in visitor during the weekend, I have decided to do a photo post every Saturday instead of Wednesday. So here goes the first post on “Saturday Shots” (I initially thought of naming the series as “Silent Saturday Shot”, but knowing me, these will be hardly silent).
Title: Weight of the world
Location: Stanford, CA
Date: 2007

October 13, 2010


I know, I know, I have been lazy about replying to the comments lately. Part of it is the depression and schedule, but part of it is also that I miss the disqus application I had on the older format of the blog. Its a neat little application that allows me to reply back to comments instead writing another comment. However, a few people complained about the problems faced while commenting using disqus.

So here is the question: Is disqus really causing a lot of trouble, in case you are using on your blog or have used it for commenting? I am seriously considering to have it back on my blog. Does anyone have a strong opinion about that?

P.S.: I know, I know, this is my blog and I can do whatever I want with it and I don't need anyone's approval for that but I will still like to hear from you before I make this decision.

October 12, 2010

Hectic Life aka the Real Life

Yeah, yeah, you heard me. I have finally descended in the real world ans started a real job. I now have regular work hours, regular lunch hour, and hopefully, from tomorrow, a regular exercise routine. I have been trying to adjust in this regularity which involves waking up 5 in the morning (I am in office by 6AM, though I must add that these odd working hours are by choice) and sleeping by 9ish. I haven't achieved the second part yet and so I am constantly sleep deprived, which explains my disappearance for past two weeks (before that I was too depressed as I was going to become a regular person).

Hopefully as this routine sets in and I start sleeping at expected hour, I will be able to become a regular at my blog again but its not my top priority at the moment (yes, I have already started prioritizing my tasks). I am still missing Stanford and bay area miserably. More importantly, I am missing my irregular student life. And please don't start with the normal pep talk about how I will be earning now and all that non-sense. My friends have already gone through those and they don't work. I know I can't be miserable forever and I have to eventually snap out of it but it's not a command that you give to me and I will be out of it. I am not a computer. It's a process and it will take some time. So bear with me.

Anyway, I am writing this quick post to let you guys know that I am here and I do have a lot things I want to write about (including last week's Glee episode of grilled chessus), but it might take me some time. So please be patient with me and I will be back soon.

P.S.: If you haven't been watching Glee, I highly recommend that show. And if you don't live in US, I hope you might be able to find them online. As I live here, I have no way of knowing whether the link I posted here works internationally or not. But believe me it's a show worth watching. I wish they could make a bollywood version of it though I will be very cautious if they do, unless its done by the team that produced "Dekh bhai dekh".

October 5, 2010

Kya jamana aa gaya hai

(What has this world come to)

Honestly. So I bought a new GPS (my old GPS does not have advance lane guidance which makes it useless in this big city). I was very happy with this new GPS when suddenly something caught my eye on its FIVE-inch screen (its huge for a GPS).

“Eat Endless Shrimp at Red Lobster”

I stared at it for 5 secs (I was driving, couldn’t have stared longer than that). I thought it was a fluke or malware or whatever. Next time, same thing happened. MY GPS WAS SHOWING ADVERTISMENTS IN REAL TIME!! Granted it didn’t know that I hate sea-food so there is a fat chance of me trying out eating endless shrimp but I watched the Red Lobster pass me by, nevertheless. Something I wouldn’t have noticed, had my GPS wasn’t so particular to point it out. And who knows, may be with time it will learn my preferences and advertize accordingly. Isn’t that’s what Google and Facebook etc are doing?

I mean what’s next? Picking up random words from my conversation on cell phone and then advertizing about them on it? They already advertize based on your search pattern and site visited. This is getting way beyond invasion of privacy.

What do you think?

P.S.: Other than this annoying feature I love my new GPS. It actually gives me the speed limit of the road I am travelling on. True that most of time they don’t match the speed limit posted on the road but at least they have always shown a lower speed limit than posted one. At least I will not get a ticket for speeding.

September 27, 2010

Thinking aloud

So few days back, as I was leaving California, I went to an Indian restaurant with some friends. We landed there around lunch time, and as almost all the Indian restaurant in states have buffet for lunch hour (really, what’s up with that?), we opted for that. None of us had a clue whether this restaurant was a north Indian or south Indian cuisine and they had both north Indian and south Indian dishes in buffet menu. I first attempted some dosa with sambhar in my first round which, btw, was delicious. However during the second round, I went for north Indian dishes and realize that this was in fact a  south Indian restaurant (and a non-vegetarian one on that. They could have fooled me). Reason you ask? The baigan bharta had jeera (cumin) as well as curry leaves in it. Seriously! Jeera with curry leaves.

Honestly, I don’t get why south Indian cooks insist on mixing south Indian spices as curry leaves or rai (mustard seeds) in any and all north Indian dishes they prepare. I will never add jeera in a sambhar instead of rai (mustard seeds). EVER. Just imagine how will that taste like? So now can you understand my distaste when I discover south Indian spices in north Indian food? They simply don’t taste right. Period.

Normally I refrain from ordering a north Indian dish in a south Indian restaurant or a south Indian dish in a north Indian restaurant. If I want to eat north Indian dish, I will go to a north Indian restaurant and vice-versa. Simple. But I am not sure what to order when they prefer not to specify which cuisine they subscribe to, and the name of the restaurant is not obvious, and then, to top it all, they offer both options. I don’t have problem with either cuisine. I just want them separated from each other. Please don’t mix them up. They both have some great tasting . Why spoil any of them?

P.S.: 1. This reminds me of an ex-room-mate of mine (she was south Indian) who insisted that I don’t know how to make rotis (aka phulka), as I don’t put any oil on it. I tried to explain that that’s how we make roti in north India. She wasn’t convinced. And then one day when I was making parthas, she started screaming at me that I lied to her and we do in fact put oil on our rotis. I tried to explain to her that this is what we call a partha and not a roti. We don’t normally put oil on it unless you count people who like to put ghee on it afterwards (we, as in our family, normally don’t unless we have guests). But she was intend on proving me wrong and telling me how I don’t know my own culture and food habits! Needless to say, we went our separate ways soon after.

2. I should also mention that I have some great south Indian friends and this post is not about south Indian culture or people. I just don’t like people mixing the spices like that.

September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Not Bad, huh?


That’s how my new room looks like. As I said its a nice looking apartment. Note the phrase “nice looking”, that’s what it is. The building material is actually pretty poor quality. Paint is already chipping off, carpet is frayed and spotted (I haven’t been here for two weeks!). But look-wise its a good looking apartment and costs me same as my previous apartment. I guess I was lucky to land this deal.

I know its a bit personal but I don’t really have anything else to post. Haven’t felt comfortable enough to venture around to take pics in the new place. I will soon, I hope.

September 16, 2010

Suggestions for Mapping Software Companies

So the other day as I was trying to get to my destination using my now-a-days ever-confused GPS (Disha), I found myself driving in a seedy part of the town. Being new in a big city can be scary that way. You don’t know which turn will lead you to a place where you can be simply “at a wrong place at a wrong time” victim. As I drove away (as fast as I could) from that place, it occurred to me what if the GPS (or even the online mapping sites as google maps, mapquest or yahoo maps) have a system to warn about such a neighborhood.

I understand that such a system will have a lot of implications, including the real estate prices but it will help people like me who have no idea what so ever about this new place. May be they don’t have to downright announce a place to be unsafe but instead give some kind of crime index or something similar. A warning before cruising such areas can reduce the shock value at the least and put the stranger-in-the-town on their guard. Like this poor guy who came to bay area for a job interview at Google and for some reason, was in the shady Oakland. He was murdered for a mere $17. Having lived in bay area for 6 years, I know to avoid visiting Oakland (or Richmond, or East Palo Alto), if I can help it. Guess he didn’t know that.

I don’t want to end up like him. Seriously.

And while they are at it, it will really help if these GPS have a small text in some corner, indicating the maximum speed limit allowed on the road (if they already don’t have it. My GPS is around 3 years old so I have no idea about current development in this field). Again, stranger-in-the-town and state at times miss these signs since we are trying very hard to find our way and avoid having an accident at the same time. I really don’t want to get a ticket when I don’t have any address for it to be sent to. I will miss all the court summons and subpoena  associated with it as well and very soon I will become a fugitive (oh yes, I have a wild imagination. The story actually ends with me living in Canada under an assumed name and being found by the authorities using my blog. This blog. I will never leave you guys!).

Anyway, just few suggestion that I would find useful in my GPS or online map search. Is someone listening?

September 15, 2010

September 14, 2010

The Emotions of Relocation

So the relocation company helping me out with the move, sent me this document titled “Your Positive Relocation”. According to this “brochure”, there are five emotional stages of relocation: 1. Confusion & Denial; 2. Anger; 3. Loss & Depression; 4. Resentment; and finally, 5. Acceptance. I think I am somewhere between stage two and three. I remember being in stage one for quite a long time, actually till a week before the move at which point I could no longer deny it. And now its a mixture of the next two stages.

So my stuff arrived four days ago, which is good, except it looks so alien in this new apartment. It simply doesn’t belong here. To start with my student time furniture and stuff is no match to this nice, a bit upscale apartment (one advantage of being in Texas: for the same price, I get a better apartment in a nice place). It just give a feeling of being out of place, old and dirty. And it didn’t help when one of the mover commented on the weight and size (27”) of my TV which is unlike the TVs these days that are light, big, and very portable.

The house is a mess at the moment. I didn’t know how much stuff I have till it was time to move: about 50 boxes to fit everything I owned plus furniture, cycle, TV etc and not to mention the two suitcases (the big ones, you know the ones that every Indian living abroad owns. Well almost every Indian) that I had with me when I flew to Texas. Honestly, I could have organized everything much faster than its taking me. I just don’t have the spirit or enthusiasm to do so. Everything fitted so perfectly in my old home. I bought those things for that home because they worked there. They were the right fit. Now I don’t know how to arrange these old things in the new apartment. I just don’t. It doesn’t work. And again the feeling of these things of not belonging in this new place overwhelms me and I give up.

Its the small things too. Like every time I fondle with my keys to search for the apartment key, I automatically look for the silver key I have been using for past five years to discover with a surprise (each and every time) that it’s no longer there. I have this golden alien key that opens the apartment door. Weird.

Or,when I simply walk out of the door to do something, anything, I realize that I have no idea where the nearest store, or post office, or bank, or ANYTHING is. I have to walk back and switch on the laptop to find it.

Or, the fact that I don’t even know whether its safe to drink water directly from the tap. In my own home.

Or when the intrusion alarm start beeping whenever I open the balcony door. EACH AND EVERY TIME. I am simply not used to having an intrusion alarm.

Or the fact that my GPS, my old and faithful GPS, Disha (yes, I have a habit of naming my gadgets), don’t have an advanced lane guidance which makes it impossible to use it in this big city of road mazes where every highway has two names and has a toll for using certain lanes.

The fact that I am living off my savings at the moment doesn’t help either.

I can only hope the stage five arrives soon and brings some kind of joy with it.

P.S.: Sorry for the disjointed post. I just wrote down the train of thoughts, I guess. This post very much feel like my house at the moment: A mess.

UPDATE: I replied to all the previous comments. Sorry for the delay.

September 8, 2010

An Update

Why is it that when you don’t have access to something, you want to use it only then? I don’t have any internet connection today and today is the day I want to write a post. I guess it has something to do with human nature. Anyone wants to philosophize?

Oh well, the reason I haven’t been posting lately is because I moved approximately 1880 miles, from beautiful, picturesque California to plain, boring Texas. Oh why, yes, I am certainly not very happy about with the move. What gave it away?

Anyway, so today is the day during my entire move that I don’t have internet access. I will get my internet connection tomorrow, that is, if everything goes well and there are no technical difficulties. Yet, today is the day I have been itching to write a post since morning. So I found an insecure internet access and using that to write this update.

How has Texas treated me so far, you ask? Oh well, on the first day in this place, I got a flat tire. On my rental car (if you have rented a car, you would know the hassle it can cause). And then as I was waiting for the roadside assistance to arrive, it started pouring down. With proper thunder and lightening (it was some kind of omen, perhaps?). Poor guy from the road side assistance was completely drenched after he finished replacing the tire.

The second day in this place: I got drenched while looking at different prospective residents. However, I did find an apartment that I like (more or less), hence it was not a complete waste of time and energy.

And today, the third day in this place: I got drenched in sweat while trying to buy basic supplies for my new house. Why, oh why, every super market has to be so big in Texas? I get that everything is big in Texas but seriously there should be a limit on being big. I visited two super market and it took me 6 hours (honestly!) of driving and walking to get handful of cleaning supplies. I could have gotten the same things in under an hour in California. (Yes, I am missing California).

Oh, BTW, I shifted to my new apartment today morning. Its a nice sweet apartment but this is the first time in my life that I have decided to live all by myself. I am not sure how will this pan out. I have always had a room-mate. Although my room-mates are not my best friends in the whole wide world with whom I share intimate secrets but they usually end up being a decent friend whose company I enjoy and cherish. It is weird and kind of lonely without one. Hopefully, with time, I will get used to it.

And hopefully, with time, I will get used to this new place as well and won’t hate it as much. Someday, one day.

And yet again, I rambled, when all I wanted to say: Today is the first day of a new life. New place, new friends (well, technically, I do have some old friends here), new adventures. Life is kind of scary at the moment. Wish me luck!

P.S.: I will reply to all the comments soon. Things are getting kind of settled down now, so hopefully I will be able to become regular on blogosphere again. And then, I do need a ranting place again. So I will be back. 

August 29, 2010

Illogical Logics

“Her home was so messy.”
“But my home is even messier than hers.”
“Oh that’s alright, you are not married, na.”

How does cleanliness of someone’s house is a factor of gender, age, or marital status is beyond me.  To me its more about priorities and cleaning the house doesn’t make to top of that list for me. If it is same for a married woman who is juggling office, home and kids with what-so-ever no help from the husband, I sympathize with her. In that case, in all fairness, she has more right to have a messy house than me. Doesn't she?


“So what did you have dinner today?”
“Um, toor daal, baigan ki sabji, roti, bonndi ka raita, salad and some achar.”
“You cooked all that just for yourself? I can never motivate myself to cook that much just for me.”

Honestly what are they trying to imply? Should I starve myself  to death because I am not married and have no one to cook for? Just because they need someone in their life to define their existence, it doesn’t mean everyone else should too.


“You must finish your food. Do you know how many people in this world die of starvation. Think of them and finish your food.”

But how does overeating and eventually getting sick or gaining weight unnecessarily is going to help starving people? It’s not like that if I overeat, the surplus amount go to their stomach. I would happily give my food to any of them but why, oh why, should I torture myself? It doesn’t ease anyone’s pain, instead just give me some stomach ache.

August 18, 2010

August 17, 2010

Tuesday Tag: The Countdown

Post-defense-lazing-around means I don’t procrastinate anymore, which, in turn, means that I have a blogger’s block. Add a badly sprained ankle in the mix, I have absolutely nothing to blog about. Unless you want to listen to me complain about my sprained ankle, how hard it is to use crutches and how the the timing for having a sprained ankle couldn’t be worse. Yeah, I thought not.

Anyway, just to keep this blog alive, I borrowed this tag from PB. Just letting you know, I am still here. Will start blogging regularly again as soon as I start working again.

Ten hows:

  1. How did you get one of your scars? Trying to get my bottle (I was two) from under the bed. Apparently, not as simple a task as it sounds.
  2. How did you celebrate your last birthday? By eating Rasmalai.
  3. How are you feeling at this moment? Bored.
  4. How did your night go last night? Uneventful. Unfortunately.
  5. How did you do in high school? Not too bad in spite being a dork and a nerd. Yes both at the same time.
  6. How did you get the shirt you’re wearing? Free gift from a company while interviewing with them on-campus. There are advantages of being a student.
  7. How often do you see your best friend(s)? At least once a week.
  8. How much money did you spend last month? A lot. But then I went to Lake Tahoe and Disney land with friends. So not complaining.
  9. How old do you want to be when you get married? I find this question to be offensive. Or, may be, I am just turning into an old spinster.
  10. How old will you be at your next birthday? 32.

Nine whats:

  1. Your mother’s name? Really? Creativity is dead. (No, that’s not my mother’s name)
  2. What did you do last weekend? Attended a friend’s graduation ceremony, took some pictures and slept a lot.
  3. What is the most important part of your life? Love.
  4. What would you rather be doing? Sleeping.
  5. What did you last cry over? Watching the song “Kar chale hum fida jano-tan sathiyon”. That song always brings tears in my eyes.
  6. What always makes you feel better when you’re upset? Some pampering.
  7. What’s the most important thing you look for in a significant other? Compassion.
  8. What are you worried about? Packing and moving.
  9. What did you have for breakfast? Some fresh air.

Eight yous:

  1. Have you ever liked someone who had a girlfriend/boyfriend? Yes.
  2. Have you ever had your heartbroken? Yes.
  3. Have you ever been out of the country? I have been out of a lot of countries and inside few of them. Which country are you talking about?
  4. Have you ever done something outrageously dumb? Does falling in love count?
  5. Have you ever been back stabbed by a friend? Yes.
  6. Have you ever had sex on the beach? And have sand in my hair. NO WAY.
  7. Have you ever dated someone younger than you? No.
  8. Have you ever read an entire book in one day? All the Harry Potter books from book 4 onward.

Seven whos:

  1. Who was the last person you saw? My room-mate. Ten minutes ago.
  2. Who was the last person you texted? My friend J.
  3. Who was the last person you hung out with? My room-mate. In our living room. We watched the movie Dragonfly.
  4. Who was the last person to call you? My mom.
  5. Who did you last hug? My friend on Saturday while congratulating her on her graduation.
  6. Who is the last person who texted you? My friend J.
  7. Who was the last person you said “I love you” to? None of your business.

Six wheres:

  1. Where does your best friend(s) live? Stanford and Puerto Rico.
  2. Where did you last go? Post Office.
  3. Where did you last hang out? Living Room. Oh ok, Dishdash (Mediterranean restaurant) for lunch on Saturday with my friends.
  4. Where do you go to school? Stanford.
  5. Where is your favorite place to be? Stanford.
  6. Where did you sleep last night? On my bed in my room. Though, now you mentioned it, I will try to sleep on the kitchen counter tonight.

Five dos:

  1. Do you think anyone likes you? Of course, I am a very likeable person. Wait till they really get to know me.
  2. Do you ever wish you were someone else? Always. From Cinderella to a student at Hogwarts to the heroine (heroine and not actress) of one of those chick-flicks to Doctor Who’s companion. What can I say, I have an over-active imagination.
  3. Do you know the muffin man? You mean the one who lives in Drury Lane? Barely.
  4. Does the future scare you? Oh yes. However, it also excites me more than it frightens me.
  5. Do your parents know about your blog? Nope.

Four whys:

  1. Why are you best friends with your best friend?  So that I could have a best friend.
  2. Why did you get into Blogging? Procrastination.
  3. Why did your parents give you the name you have? Because they had to name me some thing. I guess they didn’t want to keep calling me “bachchi” or “baby” or “ladki” or something similar.
  4. Why are you doing this survey? Trying to break my blogging dry spell.

Three ifs:

  1. If you could have one super power what would it be? Mind-reading. Telepathy would be cool too.
  2. If you could go back in time and change one thing, would you? Nah. Despite its up and downs life isn’t too bad.
  3. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could bring one thing, what would you bring? A fishing boat.

Two would-you-evers:

  1. Would you ever get back together with any of your ex’s if they asked you? Never. There is a reason they are my ex.
  2. Would you ever shave your head to save someone you love? Sure. What’s the big deal?

One last question:

  1. Are you happy with your life right now? Depends on the day you ask me. Sometimes yes, sometimes no (Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa). 

A free for all tag. Have fun.

August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Twilight

Title: Sunset
Location: Universal Studio, Los Angeles, CA
Date: August 3, 2010

August 1, 2010

Challenge of Friendship

I have been trying to catch up with the Blogosphere these days (though not commenting on everything I read but I am reading), and as it happens so often when you are in blogosphere, there are thoughts bubbling at the surface. And sometimes, very unrelated topics click perfectly with each other. Like the current challenge at Blogadda (and no I am not participating again, just thinking aloud): ‘Friends Forever’, and a post by Shilpa on ‘the other woman’. Completely unrelated? May be, may be not.

You see its all good and nice in a friendship as long as life is simple and easy. The real challenge of friendship is when your friends does something that according to your moral compass is wrong. It can be anything from having an extra marital affair (if they are married), or having an affair with a married man/woman, or as we desis (belonging to Indian subcontinent) are raised to be homophobic and transphobic, you discover (in case you are still homophobic/transphobic) they are gay, transsexual, transgender, or even cross dresser. What do you do then?

What do you say to your friend when they share with you something that according to your moral compass is wrong? You condemn them and walk away, or you stay and support them? And by supporting I mean really supporting, and not trying to get them to change their decision, or ignoring the big elephant in the room (the two approaches that people usually take when they don’t agree with someone else’s decision) but be there for them and tell them it’s okay, as long as they are happy. To hell with right and wrong. Because you know, the rest of the world is going to condemn them anyway (including their family), so will you join the society in condemning them or will you be there for them, as one of the last shoulder for them to cry on (remember family and society is going to condemn you as well for supporting them blindly)? Friends Forever?

Jaan pe bhi khelenge, tere liye le lenge: sabse dushmani

P.S.: Happy Friendship Day. And to all of my friends, who have stood by me and will stand by me again, no matter what: THANK YOU. I promise to be there for you as well, no matter what.

July 29, 2010

Fictional Crushes Tag

Rachna tagged me. Exactly what I need right now, a tag, to get back on writing business of blogging.

So this tag that Rachna created, is about, surprise surprise, fictional heroes (I have known Rachna since school days: she defines the word book worm. Its an accomplishment for me if I can find a book that I have read and she hasn’t! By book I, of course, mean fictional books and not course books). The tag requires to name ten fictional crushes I have ever had. I am not sure if I can name ten of them because like real crushes, my fictional crushes fades away and I don’t even remember them after a while. Yet, here is a list of my fictional crushes that I do remember(in the descending order of intensity of my crush: the top one being the most intense):

1. Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia or simply, Francisco d’Anconia (Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand): I have the biggest crush ever on Francisco d’Anconia. Honestly, my heart race every time his name appears in the book. I dream about him, I wish he was real so that I can meet him just once in real life.

Why do I like him so much, you ask? He is a perfect man. He can do anything, any work perfectly and effortlessly. As Ayn Rand says while sketching his character:

Two things were impossible to him: to stand still or to move aimlessly.

"Let's find out" was the motive he gave to Dagny and Eddie for anything he undertook, or "Let's make it." These were his only forms of enjoyment.

Just my kind of person and then there is his famous money speech is a killer. Just an excerpt:

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? […]

"When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor--your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?”

2. Fitzwilliam Darcy or simply, Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen): I won’t be exaggerating if I say that he is every teenage girl crush. Well he was mine. On my sixteenth b’day, a neighborhood didi presented me with two abridged books: ‘Little Women’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Till then my reading habits were restricted to Archies, Tintin, Nandan, The Three Investigators, Nancy Drew and Famous Five. It was my first introduction to Jane Austen and I simply fell in love.

Why do I like him? In the first pass Mr. Darcy is arrogant, haughty, snob and all the other synonym of the word. But the way he changed for his love Elizabeth Bennet. All the things he did for her and the way he pursued her: simply romantic. Is it a surprise that I fell in love with him as a teenager?

3. Alan Shore (Boston Legal): The next fictional character that makes my heart go ‘ooh’, ‘aah’, doesn’t belong to a book but to a TV series called Boston Legal. But as he is still a fictional character, I think he counts. (Just so we are clear, I love Alan shore and not James Spader, the guy who plays Alan Shore. No doubt that James have done a great job but its the character that I have crush on and not the actor).

Alan is far from perfect. In fact, the first time I watched Boston Legal, I found him very inappropriate, sexist and even cheesy but his heart is in the right place. He always do the right thing even if it means being slightly off track, and even, at times, illegal. His arguments in the court, his logic, his views, his attitude, and his caring nature (despite being a lawyer), grows on you till he becomes irresistible. And the best of all, his friendship with Denny Crane. Denny Crane has completely opposite views about life, politics and everything else, as compared to Alan and yet both of them are inseparable. Difference in opinion do get in the way of their friendship and yet their friendship survives. I simply love watching that show and every time Alan Shore appears on the screen, my heart starts beating a bit faster.

4. Cole Turner (Charmed):  Yet another TV character who make my heart race. I started watching Charmed back in India (on Star Movies, I think). I am a big sucker for any TV series, book, movie based on magic, witches, wizards, vampires etc but honestly this series is very cheesy. But there are few characters that absolutely captivated me. Cole Turner (played by Julian McMahon) is introduced in season 3 as a love interest for Phoebe (played by Alyssa Milano) the youngest of the charmed sisters. He is half human and half demon, and is sent by the Source (of all evil) to destroy the Charmed sisters. But his human half fells in love with Phoebe: deeply and passionately in love. He turn against everything he has known for his entire life to be with her. Some thing or the other keep happening and the two of them never get together in real sense.

The tortured love, the bad boy, the rebellion all of these factors makes him so lucrative, I guess. He makes my heart pound. I love the season three to season five of Charmed just because of him. Coincidentally, I tried watching a lot of other movies and serials starring Julian McMahon but it was just the Cole Turner character that has that effect on me.

5. Raj Malhotra (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge): Let me start this one with the statement that I don’t like Shahrukh Khan. I think he overacts and dramatize even the simplest of the scenes. The only movie I can tolerate him in is Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and again, it has more to do with the character he played than him.

Raj Malhotra, is a party boy, an incurable flirt and yet when he falls in love, he is sincere, he is respectful and he understands Simran’s (played by Kajol) emotional turmoil of choosing between love and heart, or family and tradition. Which Indian teenager girl can resist him? I couldn’t. I have watched the movie uncountable times and each time I fall in love with him yet again.

Well that’s all the fictional characters I could think of that make my heart race. How about you? Pick up the tag if you like it. If you are a bookworm (or even a movie lover, or a TV addict), you would love doing it..

July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Stream Profiler

Not so wordless this week though. Well I have to tell you what you are seeing and not simply show you. So what you are seeing here is called a stream profile chamber and frankly, that’s what it is: a stream profile chamber. The upper 1/4the part of the photo shows you the real forest and the stream as it look if you are above this chamber (the part above the water). But then you enter this tunnel and you see how the streams really look like in nature. Can you see how the water from the small fall makes all those bubbles, the rock behind the branches going in and, of course, the fish swimming around? See how the sun rays are penetrating the stream?

It was an accidental discovery on the recent trip to Lake Tahoe (yep, that’s where I disappeared after my defense and hence, the long silence). I found this very unique and exciting and hence the picture. Or may be, years of grilling in academics have turned me to an absolute geek. No really, do you also think its cool or is it just me? Have I really lost the ability to communicate with the normal people (I was told that most of the PhDs do so I have been wondering)?
Tahoe_Me_123-1Title: Stream
Location: Rainbow Trail, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Date: July 20, 2010
(Canon EOS REBEL T2i camera, Canon 18-55mm lens @ 33mm focal length, f/10 aperture, 1/100 sec shutter speed and 3200 ISO (the reason the picture is a bit grainy) using a graduated 0.6 ND filter with darker side towards the top. Post processing: cropped slightly, straightened and increased contrast using Picasa3)

July 26, 2010

Blog Name Changed

Oh well, I am back. Yet again. Did you think I disappeared completely? Well, I didn’t. I just took a break, after my DEFENSE. That’s right! I have unofficially finished my PhD (officially, I finish in September). So, as promised, I am changing the name of this blog to “Just Life”. I am not sure when, and if, Google reader will show this change (its not showing any change, at the moment).

I am still in process of changing the blog design and will appreciate any suggestions or comments you might have.  :)