General ramblings

Sharing the Finest

What happens when a Pakistani blogger says “Mumbai Attacks…Pakistan? I don’t think so!”

About 600+ people descend on his blog to beat him up virtually. Read here.

Here’s the choicest comment:

Who said Pakistan is not involved in Mumbai attacks? Pakistan role is there in every terrorists attack happend in this world. All Pakistanis are terrorists. If i had a given the chance, I Would prefer to bomd the entire pak. No more pakistan in the world. It’s gone. Even Obama wants to hit the pak, because it is epic center for all terrorist activities. What kind of idiots u r? behaving like sadists. No goal nothing. Killing the innocents is the great thing. There is something fundamental wrong in the Islam. U need to correct it.

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General ramblings

Three Men

(Picture symbolizes hope and funnily, shows Liberty Island- which was the Port of Entry for most immigrants to the United States. What I’m facing is something to do with immigration too)

I’ve been going through a difficult period in my life. Lots going on and nothing is in my hands. I can only play the wait and watch game. The worst part is, this might affect my career. I know that this is not the end of my life and even if things don’t go my way, life will go on and I’ll find something else to do. I’ve been in a melodramatic mood since the past couple of days, hardly sleeping, hardly eating, rejecting invitations by friends to go out for a drink. You get the scene.

Then I saw three different people last evening, who seemed to be facing greater troubles compared to me. I was waiting in the parking lot of my company, in my car, waiting for my friend to join me. A man on a wheelchair rolled out. I’ve seen this man before. He opened the door of his car, threw his suitcase in the backseat. Next, he glided on to the driver’s seat, dismantled his wheelchair and threw that on to the backseat too. He lifted both his legs, one by one and literally kept them in the car, as if they were dead objects. Which I suppose they were. Semi-dead. And he drove on. As if that was the most natural thing to do. Then I looked at these women walking around in high heels. Did they know how fortunate they were? Their legs could also bear the burden of those high heels!

I was driving back home and on my way, stopped at a gas station to get some soda and chocolates. That’s when I saw the second man- he was bending over a crutch and trying to cross the small lane. In the process, he was holding up a couple of cars behind him. It’s weird that the car closest to him went on advancing at a slow speed instead of stopping completely, and waiting for the man to fnish crossing the street. The man felt so guilty/awkward/uncomfortable because he was making these cars wait. I felt really bad that these SOBs were making him feel so.

Anyway, I drove on and ended up going to a full fledged grocery store next, because I needed to buy some alcohol. The third man was a Salvation Army man, standing outside the grocery store, ringing a bill in this bitter cold. Small donations are what he was looking for. I bought the alcohol and was walking out of the store, when I saw him sitting on a bench inside the store, coughing profusely. The cold weather and the wind was obviously too much for him to take. After he felt sufficiently warmed up, he resumed his duty of ringing the bell. I can’t even begin to tell you how upset this made me. I donated some $$$ and got back to my car in an even more sullen mood.

Were these three gentlemen trying to teach me something? I think so. People have greater miseries in this world and here I am, wallowing over mine. Yet, I can’t help it. My misery is my own and I can’t seem to find a solution. I wish I could leave all of this, stop being so materialistic and put my life to good use- take care of old people, poor people, people truly in need and stop trying to be “efficient” (yeah…the cliched stuff).

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General ramblings

Blog Closed

I’m off blogging for a month or so. Too much work and other stuff going on! I’m not being able to read anyone’s posts or write comments. Please don’t mind! I’ll probably be back next month. I’ll try to read your blogs, but will probably not be regular. 🙂

Miss you wonderful people!

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General ramblings

Gifts

It’s funny how people forget to inform their friends that they are getting married, or how they feel that an electronic, scanned version of the wedding card, distributed through e-mail, Orkut or Facebook is enough. This is quite uncharacteristic of Indians, who take great pride in throwing lavish weddings, inviting thousands of people, preparing a ten course meal and wearing every possible Gold/Diamond jewelery that they possess. Times have surely changed. Unfortunately, I’m of that ‘age’ when all my friends are getting married or in the process of tying the knot. Sometimes I wonder if mass e-mailing electronic wedding cards suffices the purpose? Where is the personal touch? Perhaps I’m asking for too much.

I have this friend back home, who is very dear to me. She’s been a friend to me when I was facing great difficulties. After I shifted here, we e-mailed each other religiously for a couple of months. Then the number of mails that were exchanged started reducing. Finally, we realized that we don’t have much to talk about, except for the weather and some old memories. She is not the types who makes international calls nor is she the types who uses the internet much. Quite surprising, I know. So, it was mostly me who would try to communicate in some way or the other.

She got in touch with me a couple of days back (through a social networking site, of course), informing me that she’d gotten engaged a couple of months back and that she’s finally getting married by the end of this year. I was genuinely happy for her and gave her a call to congratulate her. We spoke for around 15 minutes. During the entire conversation, she appeared distracted, was busy changing her clothes, spoke in a monologue informing me about the guy and the marriage plans, forgot to ask me what I’ve been up to all these months, and then hurriedly informed me that someone’s at the door and she needs to get going. She asked me to call her back the next day to talk some more.

After a couple of hours, she emailed me a list of the things that she wants for her wedding. It doesn’t matter that she asked me to buy loads of stuff- I would have bought her something nice either way. What distresses me is the fact that she didn’t even ask me once how I am doing. The e-mail only contained a list of the things that she wanted me to mail her. Nothing else.

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Another Tag!

Nova has tagged me to do this meme and I think I’m the first person to respond to it, even though she didn’t expect me to 😉 Let me add Suda’s name too. He’s also tagged me for the same meme!

1. Last movie you saw in a theater?

Errmm…do I need to answer this one? I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s Tashan. But in my defense, I walked out of the theater during the interval.

2. What book are you reading?

Age of Iron by JM Coetzee. Also reading the CFAI Text books- thanks to my exam in the first week of June.

3. Favorite board game?

I like Monopoly, Pictionary and Scrabble. Haven’t played Monopoly and Pictionary since a long long time. Last played Scrabble on New Year’s Eve.

4. Favorite magazine?

Business Week and Fortune Magazine.

5. Favorite smells?

Elizabeth Arden’s Splendor, Davidoff’s Echo and Hugo Boss’s Deep Red.

6. Favorite sounds?

My heart beating. I don’t know how it will feel when I’ll realize that it’s going to leave me. I also like the background noise of the AC fan whirring.

7. Worst feeling in the world?

When you know that things have changed for the worse, even though you don’t want them do.

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?

My inbox 😀

9. Favorite fast food place?

Taco Bell and Jack in the Box.

10. Future child’s name?

Babloo and Pinky! As if! Dumb question.

11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d….?

Donate some to some charities, take some long vacations, buy big houses…have lots of dogs…and lie at home all day, reading books and watching movies.

12. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?

I want to type something else here, but I’ll refrain myself. Don’t want to be labeled as a pervert. For the record, I don’t sleep with stuffed animals.

13. Storms – cool or scary?

Cool if it’s at night and I’m sleeping. Scary if I’m wide awake.

14. Favorite drink?

Banana shake and Orange Juice.

15. Finish this statement, “If I had the time I would….”?

Actually, I have time for everything I like doing. We’ll live only once…why not spend time doing things you enjoy doing? So I don’t believe in “If I had the time I would…” Make time if you don’t have any time.

16. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
Oh yes! I love Broccoli. 🙂

17. If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?

I wouldn’t dye my hair again. I have abused them enough. Thankfully, they’re still very soft and healthy. I had some brownish and dirty blonde streaks when I was in college.

18. Name all the different cities/towns you’ve lived in?

Quite a boring list actually- Calcutta, Pune, Bombay, Bangalore, Springfield, MO and currently, St. Louis, MO.

19. Favorite sports to watch?

I hardly watch TV.

20. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?

Nova-She sees pretty things through her eyes!

Suda- He’s a very soft spoken and jovial fellow. Besides, I’m his favorite blogger. 😉 So he can’t be bad at all.

21. What’s under your bed?

Nothing! I don’t have a bed now. Still in the process of buying a mattress. I don’t enjoy shopping for such stuff. So I don’t make any time for it.

22. Would you like to be born as yourself again?
Sure…why not? I’m very smart and intelligent. Heh.

23. Morning person, or night owl?
Night owl. But I’ll have to change that in the next couple of days.

24. Over easy, or sunny side up?

Both…depends really. I’m a very serious and cranky type of person. 😛

25. Favorite place to relax?
The restroom.

26. Favorite pie?
I hate pies. But if I were to pick one, then it would have to be banana pie.

27. Favorite ice cream flavor?
Banana Split from Cold Stone or Baskin Robbins.

28. Of all the people you tagged this to, who’s most likely to respond first?

I don’t know…really. Maybe Ashish? Maybe Dinsan?

Okay, let me tag- Amit, Anand, Ashish, Balu, Dinsan, and Shefaly. Any one who wants to take it up is free to do it too! 🙂

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General ramblings

Review: Unaccustomed Earth

One of the most impressive things about this book is this opening quote that is being flashed all over the internet-

Human nature will not flourish, any more than a

potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long

a series of generations, in the same worn out soil.

My children have had other birthplaces, and, so far

as their fortunes may be within my control, shall

strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

“The Custom House”

Other than that, I didn’t see too many positives. Part I of the book has five stories, out of which Hell-Heaven had already been published in The New Yorker. Part II of the book has three short stories, based on the two characters, Hema and Kaushik. The first story from this part, titled Once in a Lifetime, was originally published in The New Yorker too; Jhumpa Lahiri decided to expand on it and that is how we get the other two stories.

I was expecting quite a bit from this book, considering the fact that it’s a collection of short stories. Having previously liked The Interpreter of Maladies, and having not liked The Namesake that much, I felt that this book might just be the literary piece that can seal the fact that Lahiri is a good writer, at least as far as short stories are concerned. I don’t see that happening though. I understand that writers tend to write about people, places and surroundings that they are familiar with. But there are many others who don’t stick to the familiar path. Lahiri seems to have beaten the topic of elite, Bengali Indian American immigrants to death. I can almost predict what her next character will be like- He/she will be a resident in the Cambridge/Massachusetts area, will only attend MIT/Harvard/Stanford, will marry a girl/boy of his parents’ choice in Kolkata and bring her here, go on to get a PhD and then a nice German car. The second generation will soon follow and the Indian immigrant will try his best to get his child into another Ivy a.ka. Envy League. The kid will be the talk of the town if he fails to get into an MIT/Harvard/Stanford. Oh, and the child will almost always marry a non-Indian and then feel awkward around his parents. Throw in some philandering, some desi eccentricities, garam masala and some memories of India and you have a Lahiri novel!

The only stories that I truly enjoyed were Unaccustomed Earth (from Part I), Once in a Lifetime (Part II- Story One) and Year’s End (Part II- Story Two). So, yes, 3/8 is not that bad.

I don’t want to write about every story in detail because it doesn’t make sense to do so. If you want to read about every short story, then take a look at NY Time’s review, which is quite detailed. Or read the book instead.

If Lahiri wants to write another novel, then I think that she might have to get over her comfort zone and pen down something new, something that we already don’t know about.

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Random Act of Kindness

I just got gifted $30 by POBox42111 and I hardly know him! In fact, he commented for the first time in my post, Desi Connection, only a week ago. I’m quite surprised and pleased/shocked at the same time. I guess it doesn’t take too much to make someone happy.

That’s a sum total of two random acts of kindness that I came across this year- First, the lady who helped me after my car accident on the freeway and second, POBox42111. I’m amazed how some people like POBox are so big hearted. I know that money is not a big thing, but still, it never occurred to me that it takes so little/much to make someone smile. 🙂 I have a lot to learn.

My mom asked me- What’s his name?

Me: POBox42111

Mom: You mean you don’t know his name?

Me: No!

Dear POBox, I’m sure you are reading this post. I owe you one and I hope you will let me do something for you if you come to this side of the country. I have no doubt that you are not like other desis that I come across here ever so often. 😉 Anyone who tips $7 for a $13 haircut cannot be bad! I’m not going to give you a gift in return because that would mean that I’m trying to settle accounts here. I will hope that sometime, in the future, I’ll be able to put a smile on your face too. I really appreciate your generosity and I’m very bad with words; so this does seem like an awkward post.

Ish, this time, I had an OMGWTF moment. 😀

I’ve used $15 to get myself a personal domain. Still have $15 which I don’t need.

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