Thursday, December 20, 2007

Death of Cricket as we know –

Twenty20 will be the official death bell for cricket as we know. It’s just a matter of time that One day and Test Matches are brought to their knees. I can see something like MLB taking place in India within the next few years. There are many factors which kicks in to support this case, some which I might add could be for the better
1. People might retire early, because they get the same kind of money with fewer cricket matches.
2. Twenty20 is easier to sell than others.
3. There are only 2 countries where cricket is both fun and makes money. Australia and India (Make be the other Asian countries, but countries by themselves are so volatile). If India starts Twenty20 where else the players are going to play?
4. In India, it will bring in discipline, and no state politics and north-south divide.
5. BCCI monopoly will be subdued.
Being a guy who loves cricket, I am little bit sad to see the demise of One day and Test matches, but I guess these changes are good for the future of cricket.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

X'mas Shopping

I would much rather be doing Diwali Shopping!!! Will be travelling to DC this week. Planning on a trip to North Carolina, heard lots of good things about that state. Have a plan to move to NC, lets see.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Law to protect Elderly

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7132697.stm

Here we go again, people trying to live the other's life. I think Gandhi once said, "I am a Hindu but that's who I am. The State has nothing to do with it". You are not God, You are not even a perfect human being, then where on earth did you get the right to impose these laws?

Don't they know that Love cannot be forced by laws. Bunch of morons.

For people who disagree, I do not see laws such as,

1. Compulsory education for all kids. It doesn't matter whether you are crorepathi or street vendor.
2. If you abusive to your kids, you go to jail
3. Its illegal to divorce your spouse if you have a kid
4. If your kid become disabled due to your neglect, you go to jail
5. You cannot have multiple brides.

Do you want me to go on.....

Friday, November 30, 2007

Leadership 101

Are leaders born or are they made? Apart from Hercules and other mythical figures, I have never seen or heard about born leaders. Gandhi, Churchill, Washington and other great leaders of our time, were individuals who were forced to fight. We must exclude leaders of Medieval and Renaissance era, in my view they either wanted to plunder wealth or force their religion on others. Most of them are of noble breed, where leadership is force feed using a silver spoon. And then, there are leaders like Genghis Khan who grew up in a politically unstable and volatile era. It’s their environment which played a crucial role rather than their birth.

Given the argument, that leaders are made. What makes them a great leader? A few good qualities of a good leader are
a.Ruthlessness
b.My way or highway attitude
c.Me first everything else next
d.Ability to handle stress with a steady mind
e.Charisma
f.Vision
g.Innovativeness
h.Plan and execution

There might be other criteria but I guess this covers the majority. Now the question is how does one develop these qualities? Or do these qualities depend on an individual’s upbringing and hence it is hard to develop during the later half. We all know based on the standard of our life, we can be categorized into Upper, Middle or Lower class. If it so happens that you are from an upper class, then right from the beginning you are forced to look down at others. The feeling is that everyone below, are there to work for you. Thus, the good qualities of a good leader naturally grow with you. So you might score 100 in qualities a to e; and on other you might be in the high 80’s. The next group is the lower class, who got nothing to lose. Life is a struggle everyday. So in a way, the above leadership qualities bonds with them naturally. It’s their survival; it’s them against the world. You have an option, you either use others as ladder to climb up in life or you let others use you as their launching pad. All this leaves is the poor middle class people. Neither there nor here type and all they can do is blog about injustice and inequalities. I guess the same can be applied for countries. We have our Rich, Poor and the developing countries. Rich gets there things done with money, poor don’t dream, it's their survival and then the developing world where the only thing remaining is their infighting.
So can I conclude along with my developing country, my middle class life is doomed from the beginning? Or is my conclusion incorrect?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Internet Addiction –

Nowadays I use the net so much, sometimes fish, comes out of my pocket :(

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Still an Alien

10 year it has been I am still hunting for the all elusive green card. For issuing an immigrant visa (Green Card), US immigration agency, follows a weird procedure. If you are from India or China, getting a green card, is all about luck.
If you are trying to immigrate to US, there are 3 categories
EB1
- This category is for an ‘outstanding professor or researcher’
- This category is for a ‘manager or executive’ subject to
international transfer to the U.S.
EB2
- This category is for foreign nationals professionals with an
‘advanced degrees’ (masters degree or higher) and with a job offer
from a U.S. company
EB3
- This category is for ‘professional workers’ with a U.S. bachelor's
or foreign equivalent degree and with a job offer from a U.S. company

In addition to these categories, Green Card also depends on what is called as “Priority Date”. Each category has its own priority date. For example, if you are in EB3 category, then currently your priority date is in April 2001. What this means is, if you have applied for your green card on April 2001 then the INS will take your application for processing now. EB1 which is of a high category has its priority date current that is if you start your green card on this category now, INS will process your file tomorrow (technically). So far so good, now let’s discuss the issues

Issue A – Since immigration is a hot topic for election in this country politicians play it to their advantage. Now, in US Hispanics are the largest minority, overtaking blacks. As you can imagine, most of them come from south of the border and most of them have voting rights. They are highly loyal to their community thus, if a politician says, I will give green card to your family, the votes goes for him. On the other hand, if you take an action like that you are going aggravate the far right, which is the white majority who do not want any immigrants.
So if there are 100 voters, 60 do not care about immigration, in other words they have no bias while voting based on immigration, we have 40 remaining votes out of which lets assume 20 are Hispanics and 20 are from far right. Now Green card becomes bait, you play the field based on the environment you can either go for the 20 Hispanic votes or the other 20 from the far right. How do they do that, remember the “Priority Date”, during the election time or at a time of distress they will move the date to current. Thus who ever have applied for Green Card with out any consideration for EB1, EB2 or EB3 the INS will process your application. After couple of months, when the voting is done, they will move back the date, so that only your grandfather can apply.
Let’s take my case as example; I applied for green card during 2002, even though I came to this country in 1998. Friend of mine came to this US in 2001 and applied in 2001 itself. During 2001, they did a switch around with the priority date and he got his Green Card in the same year. By the time, I applied the date was moved far back. So it does not matter when you come to this country all it matter is when you applied and how lucky you are.

Issue B – This issue lingers around the technicality of the 3 categories we saw earlier. Remember the priority date is based on category. If you are in a higher category you have better dates. I have a master’s degree, I am certified project manger, and I have 12 years experience, but still I am in a lower category. Why, because the green card is based on your position when the process started. When I started my job I only had a bachelor degree, later I went to school and got my masters and my certification. But all these after my process started thus my category is much lower. Now technically you could have started working much later then me with a master’s degree thus you have a better date.
Now, another thing to add here is the clause that says experience could count as an alternative to your master’s degree. So depending on your bargaining skills, you can argue with your company and your lawyer and ask them to apply at a higher category based on your work experience. This clause has many loopholes. There are hundreds of consulting companies (most of them started by immigrants) who exploit the system using this clause. Green Card for them is a way to hire new employees. They cut a deal with you stating that they will hire you and they will file their green card process at much higher category. It does not matter whether you really have experience or not they just file with one. I even know many cases where these companies processed green card on EB1 category.

Issue C – This is the worst of them all. Companies know that until you get your green card, you are just a bonded labor to them. There is really not much you can do. So the longer the process goes the better they are. Again, I am a prime example for this. I work for a big American firm, my green card was filed in 2000, and I did not bother about the process that much since I didn’t expect My Company to play games with me. After waiting for couple of years, watching all my friends who applied after me getting green card, I asked the law firm what’s happening with my Green Card. I did not get an answer soon, after repeated pestering; the firm told me that my green card process was cancelled. After having a heart attack, I asked them why. The law firm pointed finger at my company and the company told me that there was a misunderstanding between the company and the lawyer and my process was cancelled by error. They promised they will do the best they can, which ended as restarting my process in 2002 and I am still waiting to get the Green Card.

Issue D - Got money? This issue is complete nonsense. For example, lets say company A started Green Card process in the 90's for Employee X. For some reason, if the employee X leaves the company, the company could give that date to Employee Y. Using this, companies now sell these date to a highest bidder. These goes for thousands of dollars. There is no control.

Anyhow, the bottom-line is I am still an alien. I am really frustrated. All these years my wife couldn’t work, I didn’t want to buy a house without a green card, I really couldn’t take any promotions, the list goes on. Sometime, I think whether all this is worth the pain, I really thinking about moving back to India. I talked to my wife, and she is always an easy going person, so she says lets go. I guess I got to make call now, whether to live as an alien or as a human being.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Origin of "Sir" - Indian Style

I wonder where Indians got the habit of adding "Sir" to a sentence.

Yesterday, I was watching Yogi B song in youtube. He goes, "Raja Sir pattu podu". What's wrong in asking "Illyaraja Songs podu".

The worst thing is, when they are not watched or when they are with their friends they would go, "Otha Illyaraja pattu super illa?"

This habit is worst in the government office. If you are not a big shot you have to call the guy who supplies tea, with a "Sir".

Does anyone know the history behind this?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali Guys.
Miss the sweets; Miss the fire crackers; Miss all my friends; Miss waking up 4 in the morning; Miss new clothes; Miss the TV Programs; Miss my mom's Idli and Kari Kolzhambhu; Miss my mom's Briyani; Miss sight seeing trips to check all the girls with new clothes; Just miss Diwali...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Instinctive Buyer –

I am an instinctive buyer; I have bought numerous products, only to find out that either the product is not suited for me or there is a better product out there. Following that great tradition, I bought a Nikon D50 SLR Camera. To go with that I bought 2 Lenses, 18-70mm and 70-180mm. They are great lenses but it’s a hassle to change the lenses every time I have to change the view.

I should have bought the Nikon 18-200 mm.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Am Sick!!!

The slightest of weather change brings me sinus, blisters and everything associated with it. Suffering.....

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ranji Season Begins

Go Tamilnadu Go...... Obviously due ICL; this year is going to be without lots of big names, so I am little bit concerned about the team. But we got to live with what we got right? Lots of fringe players got their opportunity this year, hope they use it to its best. Especially Prasanna, Vasudevadas and Ashwin. Yo Mahesh, I heard he is good, but it is hard to judge a fast bowler in Indian condition. I read that Balaji should be back by the third game, so that should be good.
Now, I have to address an issue which has been lingering in my mind for a long time. States like Maharashtra, Gujarat have one state team and a team for their major city. Why it is not done in Tamil Nadu I have no idea. So many good players play for teams like Assam, Goa and other team, so I think we should have Team Chennai and Team Tamilnadu. It will benefit lot of state player.
Sharath, Sadagopan and Suresh are playing for Assam. Good for them, I would like to see them play for Tamilnadu but I guess thats not going to be possible now.
Another issue is with the Coach. W.V. Raman for coach? That makes me throw up. I remember him in a match in my college ground. He was standing in the slip, with his hand on his hip. The ball was flying to his right, he didn't even move his hand from his hip. After the ball reached the boundary, he jogged towards the ball to pick it up. He got all the talent in the world, but I don't think he is a team player.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tamilselvan

Tamilselvan Dead –

It has been more than 20 years now, 24 to be exact. The conflict between Srilankan Army and the Tigers seems to be moving in the wrong direction. Today, one of the high figures with the Tigers is dead. Tamilselvan, always had a pacifist look, and I was hoping one day, he along with others might be able to put a peace plan on the table, but it is a war and war does take causalities.

A conflict in the name of religion or race is hard to negotiate. That’s why; I think they lost a golden opportunity when IPKF was there. It was a volatile combination, Indian Army, Srilankan Army and the Tigers. They should have asked UN to foresee the operation. Everyone made mistakes, certainly the latest book by an Indian Army personnel points out lot of blame on the Indian think tank. But in the end, Prabakaran did not do his homework right. He assumed that he will still have the support of the Tamils, after killing India’s Prime Minister. What a grave mistake that was.

Anyhow, it is going to be a tough road ahead. Seems like Prabakaran death could cause a political swift, which intern could cause Srilankan Army gain huge power. This swift, might be bad for the Tamils but might bring a result to the war. I don’t see any other end to it. Given his leadership style, Prabakaran, with no second in command it is hard to see Tigers without their leader. Tigers and Prabakaran has become something like a synonym. Also, the fight for Tamil Ellam is something similar to Kashmir, just like how I would not like to loose Kashmir, the Srilankan would not like to loose Tamil Ellam. So even though my heart goes for the Tamils, common sense tells me that it is a hard bargain. They could work out something similar to Great Britain, but that will not work without economical prosperity in the northern part of Srilanka. Simply put, Srilanka does not have the resources or political power to achieve such a deal.

I have not read many things about Tamilselvan, but another soul is gone giving his life for the benefit of his people not just for his family and friend. That’s ultimate sacrifice, I do believe that he fought for a cause, and I hope the world see him the same way I do. There are many crazy fights going on around the world, in the name of religion and race. I guess History will decide the consequence with time.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Names from my part of the world

The place where I grew up is notorious for naming people. You come to our street within couple of weeks you will have a new name.

These names are so famous that even the parents forget what they named their kids.

Of course, it is censored for its content, but some of them are,

குதிரமுட்ட;
இம்மி;
குர்டெர் ரகு;
குல்கி;
அப்பர்;
மண்ட;
செவீளீ;
பணைங்கா;
காந்தி;
குட்டி;
சோனி;
பூன் பரம்;
பாம்பே பண்ணி;
வெட்டு மணி;
மோடி

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It has been a long walk

It has been a long walk
The road has taken me through many hills and valleys
The journey has been fascinating
Never thought about where the journey might take me
It has been a long walk
Time to choose where the journey might lead me
It has been a long walk
Up ahead I see a crossroad
I see two roads, with signs for two different destinies
One seems familiar, it’s crowded
I see familiar faces
I see my parents, I see my friends
It has been a long walk
I see so many vehicles
I ask them where they take us
To destiny, comes the answer
The final resting place, says another
It has been a long walk
I see so many vehicles
Why so many? I ask them
You choose the best for you, comes the answer from one
This looks familiar
This I am comfortable with
Still, Why so many? I ask another
This is the only vehicle, comes the answer
The others are false fantasy
Choose ours; the destiny is assured. Comes the answer
It has been a long walk
I have my doubts; I tell them
You want material proof, comes the question
People have spent their life on these vehicles, without questioning
You want material proof, comes the question, again
I have my doubts; I tell them
It has been a long walk
Temptation grows to take the other
The road looks less traveled
I see no vehicles
Where are you going; I ask one
To where ever the road takes me, comes the answer
Aren’t you alone; aren’t you scared, I ask him
I am alone but what’s there to be scared off? Comes a question
Are you trying to reach destiny without a vehicle? I ask him
The destiny is different for you and I; comes the answer?
Don’t you need a companion?
Don’t you need someone to help you when you are down?
Never seen one, comes the answer
It seem people take this road, because the other didn’t work for them, I tell him
May be this is not the right path for them, comes the answer
I am scared to walk alone, I tell him
The man walks off without an answer.
It has been a long walk
Time to choose a path
It has been a long walk

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Root Canal

Got the root canal procedure done yesterday. Overall, it was not bad. I was thinking that the pain would be worse than an extraction, but it was not. I am a chicken when it comes to needles or any medical procedure, and I was so nervous before the procedure, that the dentist asked me to relax and I think he gave an extra strength Novocaine!!!

During the procedure, the dental assitant kept closing her eyes and turning her head, that made me wonder what exactly is the dentist doing that is so gory? That pumped up my blood pressure for a moment.

Overall, I would recommend root canal treatment. Go to wikipedia and read about root canal, and knowing about the procedure kind of helped me relax a little....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sehwag is in the team

http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/indvpak/content/current/story/317314.html

There we go again, What is the basis for Sehwag selection? He was not in current Indian A Team, a very successful A Team I might add, but he is added to the Senior Side. The selectors will say that Sehwag has got a good track record against Pakistan, well he might in Test, not in One Day Internationals.
Praveen Kumar addition is good. It was just a matter of time, he was performing well under India A.
For me Kaif, should be the captain of the Senior Side, Dhoni is not fit to be captain, he got it because there is no one else to give the post. What a pity!!! Well that's how it goes in India right. No one can think outside the box.
Poor Dravid, What else can I say. Same goes with Badrinath, did they even tell him why he was dropped. Here is a player who is in form, and Dhoni didn't even bother to put him in the playing eleven. That shows Dhoni's brain. Raina is weird, As Srikkant once said, "What ever talent he has, he is doing his best to hide it when in international scene".
Patel needs a special mention too, he is scoring so heavily under India A (He is next to Badrinath under Run aggregate with the A Team), I bet the selector don't know what to do with him. I would think they will drop Kartik for tour of Australia and put him in the plane.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Comical Event

I grew up with at least 50 kids in T.P Koil Street. There were numerous comical events. One such,
Immi – Dai Balaji, Unga annan visham kudichittanda.
Balaji – Orru numisham, Cyclella vitula niruthi pottitu vandhudran.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stuck @ Office

Everyone in my team went for bowling and I am stuck at office with work....Man What's wrong with me
:(

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Spot what's wrong with this image - Win a Prize.


Spot what's wrong with this image - Win a Prize...
- For me this is where Tamil Nadu went to the sinkhole. To manipulate the uneducated masses, Anna used Cine figures like MGR and completely screwed up the political field. If not for Anna Tamil Nadu would have been a much better place. I know people will say Anna saved the Dravidians and he is fit to be the King. Well, Anna did nothing, Periyar did all the work and he just back stabbed him and manipulated the minds of people to get into power.

So what the picture got to do with the message, Looking at a great person such as Rajaji standing (looks like begging) in front of MGR, with hands folded as if he is asking MGR to save the world, and MGR with his smile, telling him, “I am here don't worry”. Makes me throw up...

Remember the guy!

Remember the guy, who lived life for that day.
Remember the guy, who spent his last buck on a complete stranger.
Remember the guy, who never backed down from an argument.
Remember the guy, whose life revolved around his friends.
Remember the guy, who never hesitated to point out a mistake.
Remember the guy, who started his day with God.

I wonder what happened to him.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cedrick Collomb's Unlocker - Rocks

After struggling for many days to delete a dll file, tried Cedrick Collomb's Unlocker. Man it just rocks.

http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

I had Vundo and it had a dll file which tied itself to lass and windows explore. Tried many different ways (spent around 50 dollars) to delete it nothing worked. Finally unlocker did it for me. I am a happy man now....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dumbledore is Gay !!!!

All this proves is J.K. Rowling stupidity. First she brought in death in a children's book, now this? What's the importance of annouching that Dumbledore is Gay. It does not add up.
J.K Rowling is not telented, and got lucky with her story (largely due to the movie). I bet my little fortune that she does not produce another blockbuster book. May be her next book will sell because its from Harry Potter author. Lets see how far she can go.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Disability Showcase

Be it a political, school, or a religious meeting, people with disability are put in the front row as a showcase. This practice has to STOP. People want to feel good; they want to show the world that they help others. The best ways to achieve this is by having couple disabled people in your meeting and showcase it to the world that you are helping them. I cannot imagine how horrible it is for the person. It is bad enough that they depend on others to live their life, to showcase it in front of hundreds of people and publicize it!!! Do the event organizers even think how these practices will affect the people with disability? If you want to help them, go do it by yourself. You do not need the world to see what you are doing.

I just read that when Vishiwanathan Anand Visited Chennai, there was around 20 disabled person in the airport. Why do you need them there? I bet they did not come there on their own, may be for money or forced by the Ashram they stay in. What a pathetic display.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Symonds & the Monkey Chants

Madras is the only place in India where we find knowledgeable cricketing crowd. I never heard of any crowd trouble there. Even when Pakistan beat the crap out of us the crowd was at its best. The other part of the country should learn a lot from Madras crowd...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Carvaka

If only I had a good Carvaka Guru. I love that philosophy, but I have too many questions, with no answers. I read that Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya has a book on Carvaka, I wonder whether it's worth reading?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chinese and Lead

When I heard about lead in Chinese made Toys, it made me wonder whether there is any conspiracy behind it. Just imagine, lead poisoning in Toys is the best way to attack US kids. It is kind of chemical war isn't it. The effect of lead will only be visible after a long time, lets give it 20 years, by attacking the kids, we are effectively controlling a future generation and given the fact that China will be a super power in about 20 years.

Man, I should work for the CIA.

Phone Conversion by Dr.Pachauri

Apparently, after winning the Nobel Prize for his work on Global Warming, Dr. Pachauri called Gore and said
"This is Pachy... I am certainly looking forward to working with you. I'll be your follower and you'll be my leader,"
That's Indians in a Nut Shell for you.....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wars have cost Africa an estimated $284 billion since 1990

http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20071010bcafricawarcosts_attn_national_foreign_editors_ytop

Africa has lost $284 billion due to wars. The real question is, how much did the west gain due to these wars....

The way America works.

I was driving to work today morning, and as always juggling with my radio station. I came across one of my preset station, "Mike & Mike in the Morning". The guys started talking about Morion Jones and her steroid use and how Baseball, cycling and other sports are struggling with this issue. Then came the fun part, the guy questions why steroid should not be legalized. The argument is most of the athletes use it, its becoming increasing difficult to stop it. So it should be legalized.
It’s just amazing isn’t it? People in this country are so self centered that they forget to think that there is a world outside America. Countries like Australia, China and Russia produce great athletes who do not cheat but that does not matter. For US to be competitive the athletes need steroids, so let’s legalize it. What can I say, Good luck with it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Badrinath is in the team

It was a great achievement. Good Luck. Hope he does not follow the same path as so many Tamilnadu players, Badani, Sriram, Sadagopan, Balaji (with a question mark). Not even Cheka made a permanent fixture in the Indian Team.
Hope he breaks the jinx and becomes a permanent fixture......Good Luck again.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Website Name

For the past 3 days, I am searching for a catchy website address. No matter what kind of name I come up with, it is already taken!!!!! I tried tamil, sanskrit, english, no luck so for.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First Day of School

Yesterday was my second kid's first day at school. Even though I went through the same with my first kid, it was a tough day for me. Is he cyring? Will he eat? Is it possible that he gets mean teacher? All these questions and more went through my brain over and over again. Man I don't know whether it is tougher for him or me as a parent? Anyhow, it was not that bad, when I went to pick him up in the afternoon, he was crying a little. He ran towards my wife calling "Mommy" (Man that picture is worth a million bucks) and they informed me that he was OK.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Message from Pope

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/04/08/vatican.easter.ap/index.html

I read an article in CNN regarding the Easter message from Pope. The Pope addressed the sufferings in Middle East, Africa and Asia. I don't understand what's his point is? He blamed religion for all the death, but he forgot to name what religion it is?
In my view, if not for Abraham, the entire world would have been a better place. The struggle between the so called brothers has caused so much blood, so much hatred that things are unbearable.
The Greeks, Romans, Persians, Indians, Chinese, all had great culture. The drive by Christianity (Europeans) has demolished every culture in the name of God. Not to be left behind the Muslims matched them act to act.
It would be better if the Pope address the issue head on. Tell the world that Christians are the reason for the suffering. He should act on the source of suffering. May be he wants everyone to convert to Christianity thus everyone can live in harmony.
Until I came to the States, I did not know how powerful the religious groups are. The only reason Bush won the second term in spite of all the suffering in the middle east is because of conservatives, who vote based on their religion namely Christianity. People here in the states see this conflict as a fight between Christians and Muslim, the same way people in the Middle East see.
I do not see an end to this conflict. May be the so called western power will split Iraq into three parts and come out. Then they will start their infighting and doom themselves.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Talk about bad prediction

I predicted that India might win the world cup; talk about bad prediction. They didn't even qualify for second round. But to be honest, the murder of Woolmer has really took my interest out of cricket. I know betting is high in cricket but to kill for it, thats really something. I really hope that the pakistan players are not involved in this?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Story behind my Mustache

During my college days, I used to go on without a shave for at least a month during my exam times. It was my good luck charm. Until my second year in college, I thought I was the odd one, but apparently there were many who follow the same instinct. I still follow this tradition, but these days it is my mustache. If I am stressed, I grew a mustache, and I vow that I will take it out only when my tough phase pass out. After about three weeks, the reason why I was stressed does not pass but I become tired of my mustache and I shave it off.
Sometimes I do grow a mustache for a better outcome, for example my when my wife and I were having our first kid, I kept my mustache for about 10 months. The day my kid was born I took it out. I still remember the day, my parents were with me, and my father got annoyed that I removed my mustache on such an auspicious day. Well he doesn’t know the reason; does he?Well, I have my mustache on now. It has been around three weeks now, the reason why I have my mustache did not pass and I don’t think it will in the near future, but I hate my mustache though! I will give it couple of days…..

Friday, March 9, 2007

World Cup - Around the Corner

I never missed a world cup. From Reliance Cup, I have been an ever present viewer of all cricket world cup matches. This time, all the signs are pointing towards me missing the world cup. I don’t know whether I would have time to watch world cup matches. Countries in the West Indies have similar time as here in the east coast, and on top of that there is no day/night game, thus the bottom-line would be, I can only follow the games in the weekends. One good thing though is that the price is not that bad this time. I think it is $199.

India is in a great position to win the world cup, dimply because the competition is not that good. South Africa, got lot matches in their home turf and I think that the only reason they got number 1 ranking. I don’t see Smith as a level headed captain; Gibbs fires when ever he wants to; Pollock is good only against India; Kallis is too slow for one day game. Except Nitini South Africa do not have any match winners. They don’t have Klusner this time.

Australia has always been a team of good 11 players. They were a good unit, but this time things don’t look that rosy. McGrath has lost his nip; some team might try to block him, out of respect but teams like New Zealand and Pakistan have negated him perfectly. Mike Hussey for me looks like an odd ball; I cannot put him on par with Bevan; I cannot put him down as a bad player either. He does not look like a special player to me yet. Pointing is great, he might have a good World Cup but like Sachin he has been carrying Australia for too long, but luckily for India, it does seems India is dependent on Sachin anymore. Is Gilchrist a match winner? Yes he is. I don’t think he is coming into the world cup with a perfect mindset though. He might not be as effective as he could be.

Pakistan, I don’t think we need to talk about them. If they come into the semifinal; I would be surprised. They did do that in Australia, but I don’t think it will happen again. Srilanka might be a semifinal team; don’t think they might pass beyond that.

Now New Zealand does look good. Bond is the key; but he is so indifferent. He fires one day and he brakes down the other. We got to wait and see. Fleming might be a good captain; I do not rate him as a good player. Oram is good; they do have a great tail. I might be an India – New Zealand final.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Wings of Fire

Over the weekend, I finished the book by Dr. Kalam. The book covers his days in school and his days as a researcher. I was always curious, how come a scientist, transformed himself into a great president. The common issue which gets lost is the fact that he was leading India’s space program and not working there as a researcher. From the book, it does seem that he completely transformed the way the research organization was functioning. Each and every steps explained in the book are fundamentals for a good leader. No wonder he is a great president. The book does not talk how he became a president and why he accepted the job etc. I was curious to know about his plans for India. It kind of ended abruptly.

I started to write about Dr. Kalam’s childhood and the similarity I have with that. Once I started to type, it went into aspects which were beyond people’s understanding, so I stopped it. The core of the issue is how much Dr. Kalam’s life is transformed by the fact that he was surrounded by Brahmins. I am a Non Brahmin and I grew up in an Agraharam (Go figure). There were lots of influences in my life due to that surrounding. My father was a typical Dravidian and as a rule of thumb he did not liked Brahmins. Most my friends until I went to College were Brahmins though. I have had instance when certain Brahmin family didn’t want me inside their house (They did not say get out, but they were not comfortable) and then there were people who did not want me to do anything with a Brahman. It was weird. But at the end of day it did have a positive effect on me. Books of Periyar does not impress me neither do the speeches by Brahmin fanatics.

People living in Kashmir and people who call themselves dalits (I think this word should be taken out of dictionary. It is derogatory) take the book and read his story. No one, believe me no one can squash your life, if you have work ethics and will you will attain your destiny.

Friday, March 2, 2007

December 21, 2012

Yesterday, I was watching the Discovery channel and there was program about the date “December 21, 2012”. I heard about this date before, but never really put some thought into it but suddenly this date feels so near. December 21, 2012 is described as a dooms day scenario based on the Mayan calendar. Discovery channel linked the significance of the day with Mayan, Chinese and some events from Bible.

May be this is what I am looking for. I am searching for a valid reason to return to India, now I can publish my case based on this date!!! I can go back to India, get a land right in the middle of country. Tsunami could be dangerous, so I don’t want sea shore. I will ask my uncles who are in farming to come and live with me. After all I do not want to starve to death! May be I can build a bunker?

After a good night sleep, the first thing which came to my mind before I even brushed my teeth was the date December 21 2012. Now, I really wanted to put an end to this. I did not want to encourage these crazy thoughts. Came to work and searched the significance of the date in the net. Holy macro, if anyone thinks I am paranoid, I have news for you. How do people find time and money to do analysis like these? Internet has thousands and thousands of website talking about this day.

Even though, I was not surprised by the result on the web, it was a little scary. A sudden brain blast, I am a Hindu; I don’t need to believe all these; let me check what my religion has to say about this day. Well guess what, one of the main prophesy of Lord Krishna was this exact day during Kali Yuga. For love of God, someone please help us.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Soccer Practice

First kid of a family should be given some sort of reservation in everything. These kids are guinea pigs for every parent. As a first time dad, you want prove that you are better than your father, you have vision, you want portray to the world that you have best kid in town. You know what is the bottom line of all these, total chaos!

Yesterday my 5 year old started his soccer program. This was his first time in any kind of group activity, not to mention, mine too. I went there with my digital camera, camcorder, bought him a new soccer shoe (cleats, I was informed that I should call it cleats), shin guard, I was fully prepared. Introduced myself to the coach, and he checked all the gears and I was thinking to myself, Have you ever seen a better dad than me? Then the coach goes, where are the water and the towel? I looked around; every parent there had a water bottle in one and a towel in the other hand. I was standing there with total shame, how could I have missed this. How could this happen to me? After all, I am the greatest dad of all time. Now, my son as if waiting for this moment, called me, “Dad, how could you miss the water?” I looked around the other parents, and said to myself, “Stop judging me people. I am a good dad, believe me”. One parent came by me and said, “First Kid I suppose? Don’t worry, happens to anyone. This is my second kid, that’s why I am completely prepared.”

For me, this is not something unique. For 5 years now, my son is going through the same scenario. I remember getting him a tennis racquet when he was 3. I read that Agassi, started hitting tennis ball when he was 3, if Agassi could do it so could my son. The poor kid didn’t have a clue, what he was supposed to do with the racquet. I wonder where the racquet is now.

My second kid, who is only a year and half seems to be learning quicker with limited help and that too mainly from my first kid,. My wife and I, here in Florida, all by our self with minimal help from the surrounding do our best to do everything for our kids. Most of the time, we make mistake, correct our self, and try to do a better job next time. Now, being the first kid, my son always gets it wrong the first time. Poor kid, I think I should leave more in my will for this guy!!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Matter of Time

Today, I read an article in BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6402859.stm) about job cuts in airbus. Suddenly, I started to wonder about India. It is just a matter of time, when something similar happens in India. How would the foreign companies such as Ford, Toyota, and Honda etc react when economical prosperity of India slows down? How would our country's Left and Congress react if companies start down sizing? I remember how Standard Motors was killed in Madras. That was a blood bath. Time will tell.....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

“To be or not to be”

My life has gone full circle. I never wondered that, one day I would sit in an alien country and contemplate whether I should return to India or not. Suddenly India seems to be the destination. Last week, one of my friends sent me a link to a blogger, he was bashing about all the people who are associated with a NRI. He wrote about how the NRI always complain, and how life was like hell in an alien country, how drinking tea next to a soiled street is the best thing etc. For me he is either a guy who never got is Green Card and things in US didn’t work out the way he expected or even worse, he might be a misguided “congressman” who is lost in Gandhian principles.

Self sacrifice is a misunderstood empathy. For example, I have never been to Mumbai, but I have an aversion for the city. I understand that I shouldn’t judge something or someone, if I have never experience it or them. Likewise, people talk about self sacrifice, without even experiencing the other side. Our people for the most part, want to sacrifice things in life if it didn’t work out or if they never had the opportunity to experience it. For me the blogger is someone similar, he didn’t want anything to do with the west, either because things didn’t work out for him, or by following the Gandhian principle wants to sacrifice the benefits of west with out even experiencing it.

I am not in anyway meaning that “Going back to India is a sacrifice”. People go back to India for difference reason, I for one, think that there are greater benefits for my career and there is an enormous cost benefit too. It is not a sacrifice. I am actually in position to decide what is best for me and what is not, in other words I have seen both the worlds.

Now you might wonder so what is the issue. I have 2 beautiful kids, these days they have become my world. The issue is that I could not judge the effect of me migrating back to India will have on them. I am not similar to the blogger, in the sense I don’t let my love for India affect my action. “I put my need first” there I said it. I remember back in the days, we used to split a “5 Star” chocolate between our family and keep the remaining half for tomorrow. It does not mean that I was unhappy during that stage, I was one of the happiest people on earth, but now going back to what I said earlier, I never know that there was world where you can get bag full of Hershey’s candy and let it rot.

My friend and I used to argue about this topic all the time. His argument will always be, you do what you want and kids will get adjusted as you move on in life. In other words, by living a happy and content life, if I could only send my kids for a public school then by all means that’s what I will do. My question then becomes, is that the best you can do for your kid? Being content by all means is life you choose. I respect that decision. Now when you say that, by me being content, I am going dictate how my kid are going to live, that’s something, I cannot agree.
How you live, how you eat, how you dress, all have “YOU” in it. By the time when the “YOU” become “WE”, a person starts to lose control over his self. I am not Mahatma; I do not and cannot give a better life for million people. My world is my family, as of now, that circle stops there. I do try hard to give a better life for my kids. If it means that I cannot live a content life, then by all means I want to be a greedy man.

That’s my predicament. Can I give a better life style for my kids in India? What do I need to get that life style? Will India judge me as a selfish NRI?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Marriage Video

9 Years of marriage, never watched my marriage video. Yesterday, that ended. I was quite surprised by the video. Probably, I was the only one who did not belong in there. At 24, I had no clue. I was showing off, I was trying not to talk to my wife (I was told that you should stamp your authority right at the beginning, I wonder where that went?), advising my friends and brothers what to do, talking on par with my uncles, I was sincerely trying to belong to the married man’s club. I looked like an idiot, but what’s surprising was that, my wife was at ease. We both are of same age, but how come she was more matured in the video?

Is it me or does everyone thinks that you always want to be at the next stage of your life. I remember growing up; all I wanted to be was to be Doctor, went to CEG and became an engineer. Right from the first year, I was thinking about the first job and first pay. From the very first day at work, I was thinking about marriage and my retirement!!!!

Marriage followed a similar pattern, I was thinking about the next face in life, not enjoying the moment. I guess my wife was content, she knew what she was getting into on the other hand I was totally lost. I wanted to show to my dad and my family that I am in control of everything but I was not, I was scared!!

Right in the Middle

A Conversation between my wife and I
I:I think we should get a Digital Camera!
Wife:OK
I:I like the Nokon D80
Wife:How much is it?
I:Around 1000 dollars!
Wife:You know for sure that you are not going to spend that much money! Why are you even looking at it?
I:Well I think its a good buy!

Last week, I went and bought the Nikon D50 for 500 dollars. Neither the low end "point and shoot" camera nor the high end D80. Something in the middle.

This is what my father went through in India, and now I am following his foot steps in an alien country. "Right in the Middle"....

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What’s with Name?

Gandhi – the name has become a synonym for something good isn’t it? Sometime I wonder whether a person with a name as “Manickavinayagam Muthumanicam” stands a chance to attract such a multitude of people as Gandhi. I doubt it. There are conflicting reports on how Nehru’s family attached Gandhi to their surname. It is hard to image, Indira Khan would be as successful as Indira Gandhi. Whoever or however the name change was done, it was one by a political genius.
Recently, I read a book “Wounded Civilization” by Mr. Naipaul. It has everything in it to believe that it is written by an Indian. Back in the days, when I listen to my grandfather, each sentence will have many hidden meaning. How I break it was literally up to me. For some reason, when I read this book I was thinking about him.
Growing up in the 80’s, when the economical prosperity which people see now in India was not there, everyone in India was a communist. Rob the rich give it to the poor. (I have nothing against communism, but it’s my feeling that as long as there are human needs communism will never work.) It was a total chaos, when people started supporting the emergency declared by Indira Gandhi; it shows you the true state of India in those days. On one hand, everyone read stories on how to be a better Hindu; on the other, people saw the high rise buildings and cars through western cinema. An average Indian was stuck between these 2 back in the days.
For me, Mr. Naipaul looks someone similar to our average Indian in the 80's. The entire book was based on Mr. R.K. Narayanan stories. It makes me believe that growing up in Trinidad far away from an enigma named India; Mr. Naipaul grew up fantasying the world portrayed by Mr. Narayanan. But India in the 80’s is nothing like the picture painted by Mr. Narayanan. India was a confused world stuck between Gandhi’s ideology and Nehru’s social fantasy. It was a tough world; it seems Mr. Naipaul set foot on India during this critical junction. I could imagine the shock which Mr. Naipaul felt when he first meets the India of the 80’s. For me, it seems that Mr. Naipaul blames Gandhi’s ideology for this state. Do I want to argue the pros and cons of Gandhi’s effect on India? No. What does Mr. Naipaul book got to do with this topic about names?
Well Gandhi is the principle reason why caste became a taboo in India. Now in the book Mr. Naipaul doesn’t feel confident in judging caste in India. I have to agree, after spending my entire life in India, even I don’t understand, I definitely feel for him. It feels like it is one of the unwritten message which flows through the book. He feels that he wants to say that Gandhi’s effect did not eradicate the caste system in India; instead it ignited it to an unbearable proportion. Now our hero “Manikavinayagam Muthumanikam” would have become “Manikavinayagam reddy or Devar or Iyer what ever it may be”, now it sounds different. I am not a proponent of caste. If name change would work then Mohandas Karamchand should have stopped there; it should have never become Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Caste system would have been eradicated by a better economical condition (I hope Patel envisioned this when he wanted capitalism). I do agree that caste system should be constrained. But caste system was an evolving animal; recently I read an article about quota in IIT in rediff; I feel that he nailed it. He was saying that once he entered into IIT, he belong to a different place. He was no longer a Dalit, he was social elite. I feel that’s what should have been done. People like Nehru should have worked their life so that social and economical statuses of Dalits are uplifted. The system calling them “Children of God”, working on creating a sect of self sufficient villages will never work. Prosperity would have brought in lots of change.
That’s the reason that I feel that India is going in the right path. One day caste system will be abolished not by the politicians who give false promises, but by economical and social prosperity.

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