ST's Blog

Friday, August 11, 2006

Happy Independence Day, India!

Happy Independence Day 2006 for August 15th this year, India!

Here are 5 reasons (there are infinite many, but these are some) why I will always admire India, and these are not ranked in any order:

1. India is a miracle.

Yes, India is a miracle. It really is not a country put together by a small number of people. India is just happening by itself. It is simply the world's largest democracy.

2. India is the greatest tourist destination.

Imagine these places - Savoy Man Singh Palace, Taj Mahal, Mysore Palace, Shimla, Mussoorie, Ootacamund, Red Fort, Ajanta and Ellora caves, the Himalayas, proximity to Nepal, surrounded by oceans on 3 sides, all kinds of terrains.

3. Indian Railways is a marvel.

Indian railways is the supreme example of India's abilities in management and organization. Don't get me wrong, IIFT and the IIM's are still good, but to build and maintain the world's largest railway network cannot be easy.

4. India is non-violent by design.

Well, India never attacked any other country, not even when they attacked India. More from a domestic perspective, it is simply not legal and not affordable for individuals to buy and own guns in India, which I think helps.

5. India is the fastest growing developed country in the world.

I mean it. India is a developed country! It all happened in just the last 2 decades, and all within just less than 60 years of freedom. India is the most affordable place, at the same time with all capabilities of a developed country, satellites, nuclear power, naval command, advanced computers etc.

And here is an Independence Day wish for India! Hope we get a UN Security Council seat or something big like that!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Trips to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon

Well, what can I say. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I have already written 3000 words about our trip. The 2 pictures in the wild are with the Grand Canyon in the background (there are better pictures too, but these were the ones Sudha developed first) and the third one is from "top of the world" (that reminds me of days from IIFT) from The Stratosphere a tall hotel in Las Vegas.

On Day-1, Gokul, mom and Sudha travelled from Indy and myself from Dallas and we met on our way at Phoenix and flew in the same flight from there on. We reached las vegas late at night and just had enough time to sleep and wake up next day morning!

On Day-2, we woke up, had breakfast at Denny's and drove straight to the Hoover Dam, followed by a further drive to the Grand Canyon. When we reached the Grand Canyon it was late evening and we were really lucky because it was raining all the way upto the Grand Canyon, but not a drop in the Grand Canyon. We had a nice tour and it was a marvellous sight!

Late that night we reached a place called FlagStaff (the route from the Grand Canyon to Flagstaff was eerie in the night) and stayed there. I got a warning ticket for going at 78 mph in a 65 mph speed limit zone (I know it is silly, I guess there were few others driving that time of the day, so the Officer could only get hold of me).

Next day morning we woke up had our breakfast at Denny's and drove to Las Vegas again. We reached The Stratosphere at about 2 pm and managed to go the "Viva Las Vegas" free show at The Stratosphere. Gokul really enjoyed the arcade where he played some games, we then had dinner at a great Indian restaurant (too spicy, though) and on our way back Sudha took Gokul to the game arcade and I introduced mom to the slot machines. She played with her money (the dollars she brought from India), invested $20 and made $10. She got bored pressing the quarter button and was almost ready to go to the $1 machines but we were tired by then.

We then went back to our hotel room and woke up the next day morning and had breakfast at, you guessed it, Denny's! There is something about the Denny's menu, it has a choice for every age and liking! Especially the breakfast menu!

Well then, I flew back to Dallas and they had a long and apparently arduous trip back to Indianapolis.

More pictures later!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Why I like the United States

Happy Independence Day (July 4th) for American friends who know me! And to Gokul!

I just want to list 5 reasons why I like the United States:

1. America encourages participation from its citizens.

Whether it is the media, the government or private enterprise, there is huge encouragement for the public to participate. For example, people can make phone calls to the news channels and express their opinions on a topic that matters for the country. Job fairs are great. Web-sites like dice.com, monster.com and usajobs.com are great too.

2. Americans are early-adopters of innovation.

Americans are usually the first in the world to adopt an innovation, technological or otherwise. Needless to say Americans are great innovators themselves, but even if they themselves have not worked and innovated a particular concept, they are quick to adopt a good offering.

3. Americans are generally hard-working.

Most americans work hard. Several have 2 or 3 jobs. There is the fatigue aspect to it, but generally it is good to see hardworking people.

4. America has good governance.

I know we hear so much about government on Television, but I can assure you the United States is blessed with some really good governance, both at macro and micro levels.

5. Most Americans are straight-forward.

By this I mean, they are honest about letting you know good or bad. If they like or dislike something including a purchase they make, they are outspoken about it. They don't hide their feelings for the sake of any affinity.

Happy July 4th!

I will write about my Vegas trip next week!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tortillas, soup and yogurt

Well, it does not come as good as a meal cooked by thy wife, but you can try. Go to Meijer, Kroger or walmart and get some wheat tortillas, progresso or campbell soup, yogurt and land o'lakes butter. Heat the soup (try lentil, garden vegetable or minestrone specifically) for 3 minutes, have your plate ready and put tortillas in a moist paper towel and put them in the microwave for 1 minute each. Smear them with some land o'lakes butter. You almost got the traditional desi food: 4 tortillas, a bowl of soup and yogurt in less than 10 minutes. Enough to get thy housewife to start looking for a good job! I still don't have an easy solution for rice eaters, but I do stop by at Taco Bell's and try the 7-layer burrito which has some rice in it among other things.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Meat or vegetables and The Holy Bible

Just found the following passages from the book of Romans Chapter 14 in the Holy Bible very useful in convincing myself that it is truly ok to choose to eat meat or only vegetables as long as you keep it between yourself and God:

"One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him."

It goes further to say:

"As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean by itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean."

Also:

"So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Stop adverse publicity - immediately

Please note that whatever I speak to my wife, my son, my relatives and my friends whether it is in a restaurant, or in a home setting or in a place of visit is entirely private to me and my circle. I do not expect any adverse publicity for anything I say in such situations and will not put up with it if I come to know someone recorded such conversations and distributed to a bunch of people in some kind of network. I assure you I will take legal action irrespective of which country you are living in.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Freeware or payware

I am amazed to learn how many freeware software have come into the market recently.

You can run your home computer and almost an entire software development business these days using freeware (not that I recommend it). There are tools, languages, server software, databases and operating systems that are entirely free. Recently I have tried Mozilla's ThunderBird for e-mail and FireFox for a web-browser. I think ThunderBird is really good although I was not impressed much with FireFox.

And more later,
ST.