Monday, July 23, 2007

Down Memory Lane

Feb 05, 1999

Its summer, and to avid followers of Cricket, that only means England Vs somebody at the Lords. Playing cricket at Lords, the Mecca of cricket, is like spending a moonlit night with your lover on the lawns of the Taj Mahal. For those who cannot play, but simply witness the game is like watching the movie 'Taj Mahal'. For those who cannot see the game but know that there is a game going on at Lords, its like knowing that the Taj exists.

Anyway - that somebody, these days is India. So you see - a half a billion people have their eyes pinned on Lords.

But this photo has nothing to do with Lords. This is a photo taken at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Feb 05, 1999. SCG can be called the Lords of Australia (with permission from MCG fans). Australia was playing England in a day/night encounter - and I happened to see that game, with Brad and one of his friends. The finals of the triangular tourney was a don deal by the time this preliminary game was to be played - but hey - we didn't know that when we bought the tickets and neither did the other 30,000 odd people who came to see the game. It almost felt like there was only about a 30% interest in the game itself - the other 70% was distributed like this: 40% beer, 10% Mexican waves, and the rest in shouting Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. It was a great day - overall. Sri lanka was the other team in the competition - and so people safely assumed that I was from Sri Lanka. So that added to a lot of fun and taunting.

It was one of those days that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Oh - and thanks Brad for the photos and the great time.
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

India elects a new President

It can be safely said now - that no matter how currupt you are, no matter if skeletons keep popping out of your closets, you can even become the president of the largest democracy on earth if you can pull the right strings and know the right people.

If this is not a sham - I dont know what is. Had there been a popular vote, Dr. Abdul Kalam would have won hands down - but that's not how the president of India is elected. S/he is elected by the elected member of parliament (both state and federal). In these times when most governments in India are coalition with plenty of give and take and grand bargains, the role of the president becomes important as s/he is the person inviting head of various parties to form the government. In that case, it would have been imprudent to keep Dr. Kalam, a rocket scientist and a well reputed man, but favored by the opposition in today's government.

So in comes Mrs Pratibha Patil. Her only qualification - she has been a loyal poodle to the Congress party - the party in power, for well over 40 years. (In hindi we would call her a chamcha - चमचा ) . She has a number of corruption and even criminal cases against her - but who gives a damn about that in India.

The only bright spot - she is a woman - well - that's great PR all over the world. How many women presidents are there in the world?
Now the USA should follow what India has achieved - if you ask me though, that's highly unlikely. I would not put my money on that bet.
Read more: BBC Link

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Parents spend time with us

My Parents were in town for a little more than 2 weeks. While it was a short trip, we had a great time together. Old times, old tales, talk of family and friends, wine and Jim Beam were on tap. We visited Boston a couple of times and a last minute white mountain trip as well. Both my parents were keen on seeing Harvard and MIT (Its a desi thing - as a friend points out).

While they were here - there was plenty of drama on the immigration front. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) rose from the dead - and died again. The department of state (DOS) and the US Custom and Immigration Services (USCIS) joked with thousands if not millions of legal residents in this country. A comprhensive series on the events in cronological order can be read at my brother's blog (1, 2 and 3). After the drama, the words 'current' and 'retrogressed' have taken on a whole new meaning for me. Acronyms like PD, AOS, ROW, EB, GC, RFE, VB, AP, EAD etc have become like living objects controlling the lives and livlihoods of millions of people. Still oblivious of those shortforms? Good for you. May you never have the need to know anything about them.

Here are some photos from my parent's visit.