Thursday, October 13, 2005


Wouldn't you want to buy something like this? When things get hard, just press the 'Easy' button!

Here's what I mean..

Another view of the Boston Public Garden. Pictures taken on the 7th of August 2005. Posted by Picasa

Boston Public Gardens

Home to the "Make Way for Ducklings" sculpture, the Boston Public Gardens are unique. With the highrises as a backdrop and a beutiful lake in its midst, the gardens have a delightful mix of trees and flowering seasonals. Not just a 'A must visit', but a must 'spend a lot of time there' place! Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 10, 2005

What's going on?

First the Tsunami (South, East Asia), then the deluge in Mumbai (India), then Katrina and other hurricanes (USA), then this earthquake (Indian Subcontinent) and the mudslide and hurricane (Central America).
Did I miss any?

And we still have 80 days left in this year!

Add to it all the manmade disasters in Iraq, Bali etc..

Reminds me of a line from King Lear:

“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.”

This has got to be the most disastrous year in recent memory.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Here are some nice quotes I got from Neville’s blog:

Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who try.

Dig the well before you are thirsty.

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Group Photo

Told him not to move! Group photo taken at Swamy's place. We gathered there to give a farewell to Abhijit (guy in Red and white stripes). He is going to Memphis. It was a lot of fun with him around. We will miss you Abhi. The party was a lot of fun with great music and a lot of dance! Great food too.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Online Banking..

CNN had a piece on online banking the other day. Seems like the trend is catching up with a lot of people here - and why not? It doesn’t hurt to earn 3%-4% interest on cash that’s sitting in your checking account gathering dust. No matter the amount.

2 of the specific ones that was mentioned in the article were ING Direct (3.4%) and Emigrant Direct (4%).

BTW – if any of you are interested in opening an account at ING-Direct, they will credit you account with $25 if you are referred by an existing customer. So drop me a line and I’d be glad to do the needful.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Post Rita..

This one was a breeze as compared to Katrina. Gas prices have gone up only marginally around where we live – nothing in comparison to the surge we saw post Katrina, but still way above what we paid for a gallon last year around this time of the year.

It’s amazing how nature is packing in a few serious body blows – right where it matters – almost like to wake everybody up and make everybody realize how volatile oil is and how much it matters to this country – or rather – how much the country is dependent on oil.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Another One!

So there is another one heading this way. One has to wonder if the USA is the only country that is getting hit so frequently by this deadly force of nature. Seems straight out of some movie in which all the UFOs and asteroids are headed towards the USA.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hurricane Ophelia

Ophelia update from one who has weathered a few storms.


Ophelia has been quite a lot of fun- 3 days of no school! and then we had power outage yesterday night- all night. The kids had a camp out in Dhruv's room. Today it's beautiful and still windy. We went out for a long walk to see our neighborhood. Except for a few little trees and tree limbs on the ground there is not much damage. Now Dhruv is outside, cleaning up the mess.There are a lot of leaves to be swept and picked up! We will go join him later. Two of our backyard chairs got pushed by the wind into the pool. They are in the deep end and it would be fun taking them out. Those were the only things we forgot to put inside before the hurricane. The power was back on at five in the morning and so were my kids - as they went to sleep early yesterday and also because they knew there was no school! So that's that as far as hurricane Ophelia goes. I think it pays to give them such nice names, unlike Katrina!


Mini/ Jiji

PS. Except for schools, everything else is open, so my husband had only yesterday off. Madhur is back to work today.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's Ophelia's turn now!

First Katrina, now Ophelia. I don’t know how they choose these names – but they sure are getting more and more exotic. Katrina’s kiss was a killer. Ophelia’s waltz seems to be slightly easier to manage. But who knows how and where she is going to land her right foot tomorrow.

What’s next? Cecilia? Or Raveena? Margaret, Mary, Martina, or God forbid, Martha?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Merrimack River and Pawtucket falls - about a 100 meters from our apartment in Lowell, MA. Its now time for us to go. Another 2 weeks.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

100 mln Internet users in India by 2007-2008

100 mln Internet users in India by 2007-2008 by ZDNet's ZDNet -- India currently has 25 mln internet users, which is expected to grow to grow to 100 mln by 2007-08, says Internet and Online Association of India.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Have a Happy Fourth.

Us on July 4, 2005.

Some Fireworks!

July 4th celebrations on the Charles River in Boston. Some of the most spectacular fireworks I have ever seen in my life. I was looking at ways to upload some video files - but to no avail.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Grand Central

On our way back. Shruti and Piyush, my cousin, host and friend, at Grand Central. NY's main railway station. It beats the daylights out of most of India's airports.
If Shruti is sitting on the floor, it means:
a) She is very tired and
b) The place is pretty neat and clean.

They could have run a movie on those screens. I doubt even that would have stopped some of those in the ever moving, ever thirsty crowd. June 25, 2005, 10:40 pm

Quite easily the busiest place on this earth. If you believe in worldly things, it doesn't get any better than this! If you want to find proof that life is what we see and feel, come to Time Square. I only dread to imagine what this place would look like on New Year's eve. June 25, 2005 10:30 PM.


It was no Independance Day, no thanksgiving, no Christmas nor New Year's Day - but still, Time Square was a place like no place else. Hustling, bustling, day in the middle of the night. June 25, 2005, 10:30 PM.

Columbus Circle, NYC.

New York City from inside the Time Warner Center at the Columbus Circle. On the left hand side (with all the trees) is the Central Park.


On the steps of the Met, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I will post some of the interesting photos from inside the musuem after verifying their authenticity.. just kidding. Lets just say - soon. June 25, 2005, 1:00 PM

New York City

This time to the relatively unknown, and obscure city of New York. We wondered why nobody comes here. It looked like a perfectly decent and friendly place. I am sure people will at least know that such a place exists after reading this entry. Who said blogs are useless? Here is a link to some of the statistics that some very bored person who does not know what to do with his time has collected.
This view is from inside the train at the Harlem - 125th Street Station. Noon, June 25, 2005.

Where to now?

After a quiet weekend, we were on the move again.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A quiet week

Spent a quiet week at home and work. Was down with a little flu in the beginning of the week – it could just have been the heat as I recovered as soon as the temperature dropped.

We are back in our jackets and comforters - and its much better this way!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Statue of Three Lies.

Notice the shine on the left shoe. A good number of tourists and graduates make sure that no dust settles on the shoe as they rub it for luck.

John Harvard, Founder, 1638.

With John Harvard, the founder of Harvard College. . Just kidding. This statue is located in front of the University Hall. Even thought the inscription on it says, John Harvard, Founder, 1638, none of those statements are true - as per the information provided here. It was graduation time and we waited about 30 minutes for our chance to touch his boots. Yes - its a tradition to place your hands on his left boot while posing for the picture.


OK - so here we are - Penang, the restaurant. If you have nothing else to see and do at Harvard Square, just go there to eat at this restaurant. The Roti Canai will not last 5 minutes on the table. I assure you. Here, Shruti is devouring some of the stir fried noodles we had as well. yummmmm..

Another view from Penang, the Malasian restaurant, of a busy intersection. Boston and its surroundings are no place to drive. There is one predominant sign everywhere 'Road Work Ahead'. I think you can see one here too.

Bright colored buildings on JFK street close to Harvard Sq. We are sitting in a restaurant that serves one of the most delicious Malaysian food. More on that later. Notice individual ACs. This part of the country does not have central ACs. I bet they start putting in some after this year.

Harvard Square

Harvard Square last weekend. Its a couple of minutes away from Harvard University, very lively and a great place to hang out.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

About the weather..

They say here in New England, ‘if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.’

We have been on a roller coaster ride here as far as the weather is concerned. We had 40 degs F when we came here first, and raining 24 x 7.

Then we had a couple of days of good dry sunny days with 60 degs. Then a couple of days with 90 degs. One of those days, the evening temperature dropped by almost 30 degs to 60!

Now we are back to 85-90 deg range. How we wish we had rain. Both of us have promised we won’t complain.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


Lowell is an old historical town west of Boston. Famous for its textile and other mills, the Merrimack river that flows through the center of the city, University of Mass at Lowell and an old and pretty big downtown.

We are in the part of town that used to be called ‘Pawtucketville’. Everything around here has a ‘Pawtucket’ in it.
Another interesting trivia is that there is no way in this world that if you throw a stone in any direction - it won't hit a Dunkin Donut store. Within a radius of ten miles, there must be about 100 Dunkin Donut stores, not to mention a ton of other Mom and Pop Donut corner shops.

When they say that America is going over-weight, they are not wrong. I can see it here.
And yes, every road has at least 3 or 4 funeral homes here. Go figure.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Boston in one picture

Bad weather, great buildings, and construction everywhere.

The Old and the New. A great amalgam that is Boston.

On the Freedom Trail!

For those who didn't know!!
The freedom trail runs through the downtown Boston through most if not all the important and historic sites from the 17th to the 20th century.

Boston Common

The heart of Boston, with the high rises in the background. We are here for a 12 week period for an internship at a company based in Chelmsford, close to Lowell, MA.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Another Toll

For entering the New York State Thruway (I-95 N). We ended up paying nearly $25 in toll throughout the trip.

Entering New York City.

Stuck for a couple of hours before the George Washington Bridge toll on I-95.
We are on our way to Boston, MA!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Why its still a long way to go

Its still a very very loooong way to go for India before we can start calling it a civilized and cultured society, where people feel proud to be called Indians 7 days a week and 365 days a year, not just when India beats Pakistan at the world cup.

Most of the times, the culprit are the very leaders that are supposed to set example for the rest of us to follow. The custodians of the law, the lawmakers themselves.

The victims are those who want to do the right thing as proven by this story:

At least we get to hear about these things. Making India slightly better than places like Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

India - China - USA

An interesting dynamics is emerging on the horizon of world politics.

Here are some links that corroborate this..

Asian giants help reshape our world

China and India are emerging as future superpowers, both independently and in unison in a few cases.


''Courting New Delhi: Washington and Beijing Compete for Influence''

By Adam Wolfe

Today's links..

Vibrant India keeps a traveler on his toes

Bruce Ramsey, Seattle Times.

A journalist’s travelogue ..

For future escapades, I suggest he take a copy of the ‘Lonely Planet’ on India..

Letter From India: 100 million dialing out: That leaves 900 million

Amelia Gentleman, International Herald Tribune

India’s tele-density, the other side of the story..

India makes tracks for the train

The fast-growing country upgrades its rail services to
meet travel demands, even as other infrastructure
-The Christian Science Monitor

Sunday, April 17, 2005

got some time on you?

Then read this:

It's a Flat World, After All


Don’t forget to see the video on the right under the Multimedia heading.

Friend's blog:

BRAD, a great friend from Australia has his blog at

Good stuff there mate!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Today's links

How To Build A Tin Can Waveguide WiFi Antenna

Curveball the Goofball

“As the commission's co-chairman, Laurence Silberman, put it: "Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policy makers, and all of us were agreed that that was not part of our inquiry."

Huh? That's like an investigation into steroids in baseball that looks only at the drug companies, not the players who muscled up.”

-Maureen Dowd, New York Times. Link here.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Quote of the Day

God answers every prayer, a preacher once said.
Sometimes, the answer is no.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Quote of the Day

"The president, who couldn't be dragged outdoors to talk about the more than a hundred thousand people who died in the horrific tsunami, was willing to be dragged out of bed to sign a bill about one woman his base had fixated on."
-Maureen Dowd, New York Times, 03.24.2005,
Link here

Thursday, March 10, 2005

India's teledensity reaches 9%

That's 9 phones between every 100 people. Compare that with 1 phone for every 100 people 10 years ago.
Also notable is that of the total 97.03 million phone connections in India by February end, 51.44 million were mobiles. Thats more than 50%.

The world teledensity average is 15 phones for every 100 people.
China's teledensity is 42 while the US and western Europe is
more than 50%. Another interesting fact is that India's teledensity will more than double to 18% by the end of 2008 and 25% by 2010.

India's neighbor Pakistan has a teledensity of approximately 5%.

Some links:

Thursday, March 03, 2005

What's wrong with Indian Politics?

It’s not a pretty sight. Or should I say – it’s pretty shameless. What we have seen happen in Goa and Jharkhand and about to see in Bihar is not at all democracy. Even a novice to Indian politics would be able to point out what’s wrong – and who is doing the wrong –and what should be done to correct that wrong. It’s not that hard really, just a matter of doing your job. Here are the basic rules of the game.

- The governor is a non-partisan person i.e. he does not belong to a party. He is not answerable to anybody – except the President of the Republic of India.

- The governor should talk to all the leaders before making a decision. Not just the leaders who he (or his boss) wants to invite to form a government.

- He should be a man (or a woman) who should be able to do the math. If it’s a 81 seat parliament and there are 41 members who say that they are forming a coalition – and are ready to provide the proof in writing – then they become the majority.

and lastly:

- He should be able to think. He should not give 20 days to prove a simple majority. He should know that in 20 days, Bill Gates can buy India, if he wanted to.

That’s it. It’s that simple. But then you would say – we know this. I agree. It’s not that hard to not know all of this. I am writing; simply because, I just cannot sit back and watch this drama unfold. Not any longer, I mean.

We are witnessing some unusual things – and I think that things are still not totally out of control. We can address the problem and do something to correct it. To do that lets understand where the trouble is and what we should do.

Here’s my list.

  • There is something inherently wrong with politics. Especially in India. Leaders make it a habit to be in power. (I have a problem with the word ‘power’ itself – but more on that later). When they are voted out, they don’t accept the decision of the masses and scramble to get back their chair. Why do they do this? Because, I think, that they are good in nothing else – and they know that as well. Barring a few, we don’t have economist, lawyers, doctors, scientists, engineers and academicians as politicians. Once they are voted out of power, they just simply cannot find a job. And that leads very many to try tooth and nails to be around people who are in power and grab something. In the United States, people are employed as advisors, professors – and some others just relax and write books about their experiences after being in power.
  • Put a cap on how many times you can be minister/chief-minister/any political office. You should be able to represent your people as many times as you want, but cannot hold an office for more than 2 – maybe 3 terms. Take Buta Singh. If he cannot be given a suitable ministry – he was handed the job of being the governor of Bihar! It was just a matter of accommodating somebody somewhere.
  • We should also have minimum criteria about the educational qualification of the candidates. Actually, on second thoughts, it’s very hard to implement this rule. What’s to say that you cannot have a Munna Bhai produce a certificate from IIT saying that he is a graduate. But nonetheless, we should have this rule. People should understand that a certain minimum is required to do this job.
  • Remove the possibility of horse-trading. Declare your allegiance before the elections. A very important point if you want to remove opportunists from the scene. The election commissioner should have this in writing from all the parties involved. Even independent candidates. Everybody involved should understand that forming a government is not the name of the game. It’s not the end result. The end result is that you are contesting an election to be a representative of the people of that area. You are doing this because you are interested in their upliftment and the development of that area. There are people, cunning people, who have the art of joining camps that are in power and are never out of a ministerial position. Ram Bilas Paswan comes to the mind.
  • Remove the possibility of ‘adding portfolios’ at the drop of a hat. This has to be the number one most important thing on the ‘to do’ list. When there is a Ministry of Mines and Minerals, what’s the need of a Ministry of Coal? Here are some other ministries that defy explanation. Food Processing Industries, Panchayati Raj, Small Scale Industries, Tribal Affairs, Water Resources, Statistics and Programme Implementation, NRI.Ministry, Urban Development, Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation. I can assure the government needs a Ministry of Efficiency and another Ministry of Making more Ministries. This is at the national level – let’s not even go to the state level. Things become really sad there. There should be 7 to 10 main ministries, with secretaries and additional secretaries dealing with other pressing issues. Want to have another ministry – both houses of parliament should vote instead of just adding another name in the long list hoping nobody notices.
  • Stop the possibility of taking up a job at the state level after you are installed as a federal level minister. A minister is handed a particular job because he is capable to handle that job well. Significant recourses are invested in this effort. There should be a rule of not being able to switch jobs with the ease Shibu Soren just demonstrated.
  • Put a time limit before which you should prove your majority – say 2 days after you are asked by the governor. And don’t swear in a CM before he can prove a majority. People tend to fallow a man with a marigold garland around his neck.

These are just very few, very important steps that we should take if we want the world, and more importantly, us Indians, to keep believing in the system. Stop this farce if you want a democracy. Otherwise we would rather have the Chinese way of governance.

Please add to this list. I would like to have a list that is as comprehensible as possible and then take it to the next level. I dont know what that next level might be.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Some Links..

Daily Drink Helps Keep Brain Sharp, Data Suggest

(There is some hope – after all!!)


India Takes Major Role In Sri Lanka Relief Effort

Aid Is Sign of Nation's Emergence as Regional Power

(The world sits up and notices)


India conjures powerful vision of 'pipeline diplomacy'

(India prepares for the future)



Monday, January 17, 2005

India's coming of age:

Monday, January 03, 2005

Tsunami Relief


Here are some sites that have some in-depth information about the Earthquake and Tsunami aftermath and what you can do to help.


This site is a reliable place to donate.


Hope all of you and your loved ones are safe.