Sunday, April 30, 2006

Remembering the past -1

Was reminiscing the sweet-nothings about childhood, school and college days - good old days with no money-worry, staying with parents, happy outings, nothing too stressful like, to jolt some of them down...Mom's filter coffee, Mom's singing and slokams, elaborate Sunday family lunch with pearl-onion sambar and potato curry, Ragavendra temple in T Nagar, December Carnatic music concerts, Crazy Mohan and SV Shekhar dramas, Mom's vetha-kozhambu, British Council library, Marina, Venkataramana Boli Stall, Adyar Grand Snacks, Higginbothams, electric train rides with my dad on Sundays when he drops me off at railway station to go to college, last minute packing for college, crashing my dad's car in my neighbor's fence, first time my parents bought me a computer, carnatic music classes - practice sessions before concerts/competitions, Sunday evenings with my friend N discussing about future and such stuff in the terrace, shopping at Nilgiris, Woodlands drive-in at Cathedral Road (which is crappy nowadays, but when I was a kid, it was really the place to be for families on Sundays right after Marina beach), reading any novel that I can lay hands on and sitting on the sofa reading it all day without even moving an inch unaware of what happens around me, every single minute spent with my maternal grandparents, playing with my great-grandmother when she was alive and kicking, shopping in T Nagar and Mambalam with my paternal grandmother, first few weeks with my dog (he became Dennis the Menace after the first few days...), any kind of swing (oonjals) anywhere, first elevator ride....

I wish I could go back in time... but not be a child actually, just enjoy these things being an adult. Well, actually since its wishing, might as well wish to be able to go back and forth ..I would not want to miss the present events like... long drives, first snow..a bliss everytime, road trips with friends, talking to some ever-dependable friends, Tiramisu, proud self-cooking and trying to compare it to my mom's, shopping for shoes,...somebody stop me!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I saw Sriram's post about his recent airline experience. That made me write about my vivid trip to India last year. My annual year-end trip to India began at Chicago (after meeting some friends there). What happened? O'Hare, Snow storm in Europe and lousy flight connections happened!! :-(

The flight was supposed to leave at 4.30 pm. But because of a delay in the corresponding incoming flight, my flight was delayed by 3 hours. At about 7.45 pm, we boarded the flight. By the time everyone had boarded, it was time to de-ice the plane again. We were sixth in line for the de-icing truck. So, we sat inside the plane very patiently. At about 9 pm, the plane took-off. But, by the time I landed in Europe, I had missed my connecting flight to Chennai. The airline people did not know what to do and I did not have a transit visa. So, they booked me a different flight to Delhi, connecting to Chennai on a different airline. I had to stay in the airport lounges for 8 hrs until my next flight. Unlucky me - whenever I tried to call home to let my family know that I missed my flight, etc, the phone was either engaged or I could not get the line.

After the over-crowded airport lounge for 8 hrs, I got on the flight to go to Delhi. My seat was the one just before the pantry, hence, with absolutely no pushback effect on the seat. When the plane is moving on the runway, the airhostess tells me that they have lost both of my luggages. It was PROBABLY still with the airline which flew me from Chicago to Europe. They hoped to get it to Delhi on the next flight from Europe. I was dismayed. But at least I wasn’t lost, just my luggage.

Without any more events, I reached Delhi. Filled out forms, immigration stuff for my luggage, etc. Actually the airline had misplaced luggage belonging to lot of people. So there was a huge crowd in that counter. Finally my turn came, after finishing the formalities; they tell me that I had to go to the domestic terminal (which was a 20 minute taxi ride) for my flight to Chennai.

You might think that I would have taken the taxi to the domestic terminal, got into the plane and reached Chennai sound and safe. No!!! Because of excessive traffic between the two airport terminals, I missed my flight AGAIN!! The next flight to Chennai was after 7 hrs. The airline authorities took pity on me and upgraded my seat to first class after all this. By that time, I had lost all energy to be excited about any kind of upgrade. I waited for the next 7 hrs in the first-class airport lounge. Ultimately, after being delayed for 21 hrs, I reached Chennai at 11 pm on a Saturday (as opposed to about 12 am on Friday), but ‘luggage-free’.

So, during the stay in Chennai, my everyday routines were preceded by prayers for a simple and hassle-free return flight to US!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Audaciousness of SOME Guys

I got this over-demanding groom profile as a forward from my friend.

[Pls. note: We are NOT Tamilians;we are open to Tamil/Telugu/Kannada. We speak/understand Tamil, Telugu, Kannada - but, Tamilians speaking/understanding MULTIPLE languages along with Tamil preferred]


* ONLY after you INITIALLY send across ALL the stuff requested in point 2 of the profile, it'll be helpful in analysing your family circumstances and making decisions.

Kindly respond with ALL the INFO requested in point (2) after going through OUR FAMILY CIRCUMSTANCES in point (1).

Kindly respond with ALL the INFO requested in point (2) after going through OUR FAMILY CIRCUMSTANCES in point (1).

(1) Looking for a BEAUTIFUL girl,possessing excellent family values, Degree Educated (3 or 4 years or Masters Degree or recent college passout),


STRICT GARDEN VEGETARIAN (the entire family should be pure garden vegetarian), with excellent family background, preferably from a SMALL & "AFFLUENT" FAMILY.

* Pls. note for those OUT of Bangalore:

My family consists of MY PARENTS AND MYSELF.

There are 2 options considering our situation -
(a) It will be ideal to TAKE MY PARENTS along with me and the girl TO ABROAD after completing relevant Visa formalities.

(b) Alternatively, the girl's family has to keep Bangalore/nearby Bangalore as Base, so that my parents are not alone.

- We need to practically care/consider about my/girl's elder parents in future. Isn't it??????


(2) INITIALLY, please send across
COMPLETE INFO - INDEPTH DETAILS preferred(each and every info requested pls. because we need to consider several factors/circumstances)
(a) such as full family details, i.e, number of family members (siblings) and profile of each,

(b) parents occupational details, location of parents

PERMANENT and TEMPORARY residence (Country, State, City) of family members - if applicable and if family members are staying in different locations,

CITIZENSHIP and VISA STATUS of family members - if applicable and if family members are staying in different locations

(c) 'Visa Stamping on the Passport of the girl'(if any) OR
'Visa Status of the girl'(if any) OR
'Valid Passport Holder' - in order to apply for Spouse Visa later,


(e) a couple of latest full-length PHOTOGRAPHS


(3) From a H-1B Visa holder, 29 years young hahahaha...(and growing younger!!), 173 cms., 68 Kgs., simple, friendly guy, DOESN'T SMOKE/DRINK, fitness freak, down-to-earth guy, magnanimous personality, lively & cheerful, having great sense of humour,

visited 4 COUNTRIES;

B.E. - Computer Science,
Consultant (SINGAPORE),
Consulting Analyst (U.S.A.).


E-mail contact preferred initially WITH ALL THE REQUESTED DETAILS in point (2).

Kindly respond with ALL the INFO requested in point (2) after going through OUR FAMILY CIRCUMSTANCES in point (1).

Have a pleasant day!

Are you kidding me with this? What do some men think of themselves? That they are god-given gifts to women?? Crazy Man!! Most people dont know what they want out of life, what kind of partner they are looking for, etc.... But, knowing and expecting like this (as in the above given profile) is way over limit. Maybe everyone thinks about all this to some extent. But publishing it on paper or online profile shows the audaciousness of the guy. Doesnt it??

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Letters from home....

Whats with handwritten letters? Everytime I get a handwritten note or letter or card from my family or friends, I become the unstoppable. The condition is provoked if the letter is from home, my parents!! Yesterday I got one such letter with a package from home.

Usually whenever I get a package or letter from India, my mom makes it a point to write to me a few lines about anything/something/everything. This started...ever since she sent me stuff once(I think in 2002) days before my birthday and since she was in a hurry, she posted the package without any note or letter. I moped around with it for weeks telling that the parcel did not have her personal touch and probably her assistant at work just posted it. I mean, it was a complaint way over the hill but I was a little crushed...So, nowadays she makes sure that she sends to me one of these - general quips, family news, some inspiring article cut from local newspapers, a collection of letters that she had been writing for me for a long time, or pictures of my dog. She is really good in writing and so, whenever I see her handwriting, I know that I am in for some treat.

[All this happens inspite of emailing each other atleast 5-6 times a week and spending $400 on phonecards every month. Dont ask me what I write or talk..I just do...Not that I get homesick...just that, things just happen.....]

Unlike my mom, my dad is not too fond of writing. I am not sure even if he has written letters to anyone, other than to my mom (ofcourse!!). So, you can imagine my surprise when I opened the package that I had received and saw my dad's handwriting. I got scared first and then delighted after reading it. It was a two page letter, back and front. I know my dad really well. So, if he had actually written to me, I can imagine how much time he must have spent on it. I was a little homesick after that. MY DAD WROTE TO ME. Nothing else matters, right??

Technology has progressed...but, even today, there is nothing like receiving a handwritten letter. Emails - quicker, easier, affordable...still, a little impersonal. Don't you agree?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Something Indian....

Every time someone at work asks me about something or anything Indian, the bottomline is always reached, you said it.....the enchanting system of Indian arranged marriages and the exciting world of vegetarianism....

My boss feels its almost like an arranged dating service or set-up blind dating service, only difference being the families involvement. I tried to talk to talk to him about the goodness in the system, but I don't think I have ever succeeded in convincing him. Nowadays, I am not even sure if I see any goodness in the system. Coming to think about it, I remember Deepa's post on such matrimonial issues. Looks like, we are the generation caught in between the arranged-marriage only system and the love-marriage only system. Wishful thinking : probably both co-exist and so give us a better flavor of the society!!

I have a colleague (almost 60 years old) who has a 'vegetarian' son who eats just fish and other seafood....(yeah..yeah...he has his own weird definitions on vegetarianism and veganism)...Coming back to subject... Considering that I am the only 'other' vegetarian known to him, the first time he met me was during the company's anniversary lunch. He said he thinks that vegetarians exist because they are scared of being born in their next life as the animal they ate the most!! I could not stop laughing. My first company lunch with partners of the company and everyone else who works with me and I had to spend a lot of time on talking about Indians and vegetarianism. It took me almost an hour to explain and convince him how wrong he was. It took me another whole evening (company Christmas Dinner) to prove to people who work with me that I do talk about stuff other than anything Indian!!

Most of the times, when I see what a wrong, clamorous or blatant opinion people have about Indianisms, I try to talk to them and make them see 'why and how' of things from an Indian point of view. But, sometimes, some people just don't want to listen to anyone!! Like my professor at school, who visited India and thinks he saw an INDIAN SAFARI. I try to tell him - 'It was just a temple town; Indian temples have elephants and cows for religious reasons; we rear cattle, goats, poultry near the temples and everywhere else..' ....No, I don't think he still believes me!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


"If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right."

Monday, April 17, 2006

Four Friends.....

Too many concerned removed the post!!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Points to Ponder

Never tell your problems to anyone...20% don't care and the other 80% are glad you have them - Lou Holtz

Never explain yourself. Your friends dont need it and your enemies wont believe it - Belgicia Howell

Forgive your enemies, but never, never forget their names - John F.Kennedy

You must experience and accept the extremes. Because if the contrast is lost, you lose appreciation; and when you lose appreciation, you lose the value of everything - Philippos

The true measure of a man is how hetreats someone who can do him absolutely no good - Ann Landers

Being sad with the right people is better than being happy with the wrong ones - Philippos

The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy - Dr.MLK Jr.

Pain never really goes away; you just elevate and get used to it by growing stronger - Philippos

Sometimes the people who hurt us the most are people who were hurt more than us - Philippos

Our tears are what happens when it rains deep inside our hearts and we cannot hold the rain any longer -Philippos

"Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us" - Thomas Paine

You have to take the good with the bad, smile with the sad, love what you've got, remember what you had, learn from your mistakes, but never regret, people change, things go wrong, but remember life goes on!

Always put yourself in the other's shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the person too.

I like to pretend that everything's alright. Because when everybody else thinks you're fine, sometimes you forget for a while that you're not.

The things that made me stronger are the ones that didnt let me sleep at first

If your problem has a solution then, why worry about it? If your problem doesnt have solution then, why worry about it?

Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can't change. Kiss slowly, forgive quickly, take chances, give everything and have no regrets. Life's too short to be anything but happy!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006



Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Life Examination

They say that an unexamined life is not worth living.

But, what if examining other's life becomes your living?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Relationships..... in the West/East

Are relationships easier in the Western culture when compared to in India? I have been ruminating on this for a while now. I see people here. They either just seem to get along really fine with one-another or they just breakup. There seems to be lesser sore spots. Maybe it be a family, among friends or a looks like everyone just does whatever they want. If they like someone then they go ahead and make friends. Not a lot of relationships seem to be forced by society, family, peers or other pressure factors.

Ofcourse, everyone feels, cares, emotes and all that, but still something seems to be just going on. IS IT EASIER THIS WAY?

Is there not more pleasure in trying to start a new relationship, mull over it, get along, incase of some trepid traps try and work on it, smoothen things out, get along for some more time until ultimate demise? Or give a relationship some rest until things get better, marinate it and then work on it..? And is it not better when its more than a couple, when the whole family is going to be involved.... is that not the basic idea behind all this - coming together of two different families.. there is better support, security, backing-up, caring when its the two families and just not two people involved...right??

Monday, April 10, 2006

Cheer up, dear friend!!

Every morning leave your worries outside gate, because that's where they pick up the garbage.

May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two,
May the sun always shine on your windowpane ,
May the rainbow be sure to follow each rain,
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Idli seller to IIM Grad - Inspiring!!

Inspiring life tale of how an idli-selling boy from slums of Chennai goes on to become a MBA grad from IIM, Ahmedabad... Kudos to Sarath!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Habits of Effective People

1. Be Proactive
2. Begin with the End in Mind
3. Put First things first
4. Think Win-Win
5. Seek First to Understand
6. Synergize
7. Sharpen the Saw, always

These were compiled by Stephen Covey!!

Interesting, huh??

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

90/10 Principle - Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey is considered by some as a management guru. Below is one of his interesting life-altering outlook.

10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react.

We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%.

How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light, but you can control your reaction. Don't let people fool you; YOU can control how you react.

Let's use an example.

You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just what happened. What happens when the next will be determined by how you react.You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over.

She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work.

You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $200 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home, When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?

A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?

The answer is "D".

You had no control over what happened with the coffee.How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened.

Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, "It's ok honey, you just need, to be more careful next time". Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.

Notice the difference?

Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different.

Why? Because of how you REACTED.

You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% was determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle.

If someone says something negative about you, don't be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don't have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound on the steering wheel? A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off)

Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive?

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job.The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger.

Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse. Now you know the 90-10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if you try it.

Sounds do-able??

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Nothing better than to love what we do. This applies anywhere and everywhere. More about this is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005. Check the link for the article.

Stay hungry, stay foolish!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Happy Living

Beautifully written nine requisites for happy living:

1. Health enough to make work a pleasure
2. Wealth enough to support your needs
3. Strength enough to battle with difficulties and overcome them
4. Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them
5. Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished
6. Charity enough to see some good in your neighbour
7. Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others
8. Faith enough to make real the things of God
9. Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.

Sounds wonderfully simple.......?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My Life Rated???

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

Does one's life actually need to be rated?? There cannot be a standard for life. Each person is unique and so rating it will probably dampen it. But I guess you could just do it for fun and see how one-among-many or one-among-few you are. Check out the link. Good Luck!!